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Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, which runs August 1 through August 7 this year and has a workplace theme (“Breastfeeding and Work: Let’s Make It Work!”), we took a look at breastfeeding by the numbers, including its benefits and for how long American women actually do it. (The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for 12 months and nursing exclusively for the first six months.)

If you can make it work, the benefits are clear, including financial savings and near-perfect nutrition for a little one. But blending a professional life with pumping can be a challenge for even the most organized of new moms. Earlier this year, we explored how the thoughtful design of office lactation rooms is becoming more of a priority for companies. And why not? Surprisingly small steps can lead to big gains for working and nursing moms. Breast might be best. But it takes substantial support to ensure that women have the tools and the confidence necessary to stick to a breastfeeding plan.

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