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Increase in breastfeeding among US children 0 to 5 years of age, 2003 and 2007

Learn the benefits of breastfeeding for both babies and mothers. Breastfeeding may lower risk of health problems including infections in infants and type 2 diabetes and cancer in moms.

Chart: Children ever breastfed or fed breast milk 2003 - 72.3%; 2007 - 75.5%

In recognition of World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7, 2009), CDC is highlighting breastfeeding data from the National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH). In 2007, 75.5 percent of children were reportedly ever breastfed or fed breast milk between the ages of 0 and 5 years; this was an increase over 72.3 percent breastfed or fed breast milk in 2003. Increases were also observed across each race/ethnic group measured, with the highest increase (5.1 percentage points) among Hispanic children (77.3% in 2003 to 82.4% in 2007). The second highest percentage point increase occurred among Black non-Hispanic children, from 51.4% in 2003 to 55.5% in 2007. Over 76% of white non-Hispanic children (76.7%) were breastfed in 2007, up from 74.9% in 2003; multi-racial children showed an increase from 72.6% (2003) to 74% (2007) and children classified as Other race (including Asian, Pacific Islander, Native Hawaiian, American Indian, and Alaska Native) showed an increase from 80.5% (2003) to 82.2% (2007).

The NSCH, sponsored by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration, examines the physical and emotional health of children 0 to 17 years of age at the time of the interview. Special emphasis is placed on factors that may relate to well-being of children, including medical homes, family interactions, parental health, school and after-school experiences, and safe neighborhoods. The data are collected over a household telephone line from the sampled child’s resident parent or guardian. In 2003, over 102,000 child-level interviews were completed; in 2007, approximately 86,000 child-level interviews were completed.

Data Source:

Department of Health and Human Services. Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration. National Survey of Children's Health. 2003 and 2007. The public use data files are available for download at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/slaits/nsch.htm.

Chart: Children ever breastfed or fed breast milk by race/ethnicity. Hispanic: 2003 (77.3%), 2007 (82.4%); white 2003 (74.9%), 2007 (76.7%); Black: 2003 (51.4%), 2007 (55.5%); Multi-racial: 2003 (72.6%), 2007 (74.0%); Other: 2003 (80.5%), 2007 (82.2%)

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