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The Cost of Not Breastfeeding

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Breastfeeding promotes health, helps prevent infant and childhood disease, and saves health care costs, especially important in managed care. Potential health care cost savings from breastfeeding in four medical diagnoses were analyzed. Results showed the following potential savings in health care costs: Infant diarrhea, 0 million; respiratory syncytial virus, million; insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, million; and otitis media, 0 million for a total of .3 billion potential saving in health care costs using only 4 medical diagnoses.

Breastfeeding also improves intellectual development of children according to new medical research studies. The benefits of more intelligent children on society is enormous even though it cannot be directly measured in terms of dollars.

Finally, it was calculated that if WIC mothers breastfeed, yearly cost savings for basic food packages would be ,665,715. Breastfeeding education and support should be an integral part of health care especially in managed care where rewards are for preventing health problems and not using health services.


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