Many moms may have every intention of exclusively breastfeeding their babies for the first months of life—but very few do.
Only one-third of women who plan to breastfeed actually reach their breastfeeding goals, according to a study from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of the nearly 1500 pregnant woman surveyed, 85 percent said they planned to breastfeed exclusively for at least three months, but only about 32 percent actually did.
"There is obviously a huge disconnect between these women's intentions and how they're able to follow through," Cria Perrine, co-author of the study and an epidemiologist at the CDC, tells ABC News.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends moms breastfeed exclusively for the first six months. It is true that for some moms, newborn health issues may interfere with breastfeeding, as can health issues experienced by the moms themselves, or other factors, such as maternity leave and work commitments. In the CDC study, researchers also found that moms who smoke or are overweight were also less likely to meet their intended goals.