Babies were born to be breastfed. The Department of Health and Human Services encourages all women to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months before introducing solid foods and continue to breastfeed for 12 months and thereafter for as long as desired. Choosing to breastfeed honors the traditions of American Indian and Alaska Native families. The practice of breastfeeding respects our heritage and culture and strengthens our children, our communities, and our future.
Breastfeeding is especially important for American Indian and Alaska Native families. Many of our families and communities struggle with serious health problems such as obesity and diabetes. The people of Gila River Indian Community in Arizona, working together with the scientists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that breastfeeding lowers the risk of an infant becoming overweight and possibly developing diabetes in later life.
–An Easy Guide To Breastfeeding for American Indian and Alaska Native Families, by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health