The Philips Mother and Childcare Index mentions that new parents and those who are still expecting will do everything that they can so that their children will have a future that is both positive and healthy, such as feeding their babies with breast milk as long as possible. This data is part of a survey which was given to more than five thousand parents from different countries such as South Africa, Egypt, Brazil, China, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The survey explored the prenatal care and experience of breastfeeding among these parents, which also includes the overall health, well being, sleep and rest, stress and other related factors.

The results of the report mentions that female parents are looking forward and eager to feeding their children with breast milk, and 95 percent of these women attempt to actually perform the act of breastfeeding. Among those women who actually breastfed their babies, 35 percent of them provide their children with breast milk for a period of four to six months, while 52 percent breastfeed until their children are seven to twelve months of age.

In general, 72 percent of the parents preferred to breastfeed their children as long as possible. This is attributed to the fact that more people are now aware of the benefits that only a mother’s milk can give such as good fats and proteins; colostrum to enhance immune function and folic acid content. However, several conditions tend to hinder them from continuing to supply their infants with breast milk, including breast pain, diminishing milk supply and the women having finished their maternity leave.

According to Katy Hartley, the director of the Philips Center for Health and Well Being, a good thing that comes from the findings of the survey is that people are now aware about the high value placed by parents on breastfeeding, and as such, a way must be possible for these parents, who are willing and really want to provide their children with the nourishment that only breast milk can give, to breastfeed for a duration of longer than the usual six to seven months.

The Marketing Director of Philips AVENT, Ron Tiktin, mentions that this enthusiasm of parents to commit themselves to breastfeeding their children despite certain problems associated with the practice is positive. He further added that breast pumps can be used to address this concern and the money that will be used for buying this equipment could be reimbursed since it is part of medical expenses that are covered under health insurance, in some cases.

Aside from breast pumps, other measures can also be used to address the common reasons why women stop  breastfeeding such as providing mothers with the appropriate information about how to maintain adequate milk supply, minimize cracking of the nipples and other discomforts that might lead to depriving the child of the nutrients and immune boosters present in breast milk.

Aside from breastfeeding practices, the results of the survey also show that parents maximize the use of health services available to them such as almost all pregnant women scheduling sonograms and other scheduled scans. Consultation and health advice from general practitioners is also a widely used health service by both mothers and fathers during the course of the pregnancy.

Source: The Phillips Center for Health and Well-Being. 8 December, 2011