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New CDC Data on Breastfeeding Rates

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The CDC releases an annual report on breastfeeding rates in the U.S.  The most recent report shows that 75% of new moms now start breastfeeding at birth.  That’s a welcome increase.  Be sure to read the whole thing to see recommendations of what can be done to increase breastfeeding rates.  Also, there is individual state data. And some excerpts:

The most recent CDC data show that 3 out of every 4 new mothers in the U.S. now starts out breastfeeding. The U.S. has now met the Healthy People 2010 national objective for breastfeeding initiation. However, rates of breastfeeding at 6 and 12 months as well as rates of exclusive breastfeeding at 3 and 6 months remain stagnant and low.

More babies in the U.S. are now born at Baby-Friendly™ facilities than ever before. However, these births still represent less than 4% of all U.S. births. Further, the CDC mPINC survey of all birth facilities in the U.S. shows that the average score for facilities nationwide is only 65 out of 100, and only 2 states’ facilities scored 80 or more points…

High breastfeeding initiation rates show that most mothers in the U.S. want to breastfeed and are trying to do so. However, even from the very start, mothers may not be getting the breastfeeding support they need.  Low breastfeeding rates at 3, 6, and 12 months illustrate that mothers continue to face multiple barriers to breastfeeding.

Across the U.S., the average level of support that birth facilities provide to mothers and babies as they get started with breastfeeding is inadequate, and hospital practices and policies that interfere with breastfeeding remain common. In the U.S., too few hospitals participate in the global program to recognize best practices in supporting breastfeeding mothers and babies, known as the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.