Data & Statistics
Breastfeeding Report Card
The CDC Breastfeeding Report Card provides state-by-state data to help public health practitioners, health professionals, community members, child care providers, and family members work together to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. The Report Card indicators measure types of support in key community settings as well as the most current data on the breastfeeding goals outlined in Healthy People 2020.
U.S. National Immunization Survey — National and State Breastfeeding Rates
The U.S. National Immunization Survey (NIS) provides current national, state, and selected urban-area estimates of vaccination coverage rates for U.S. children ages 19 to 35 months. Since July 2001, breastfeeding questions have been asked on the NIS to assess the population's breastfeeding practices.
Infant Feeding Practices Study II and Its Year Six Follow-Up
CDC worked closely with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct the Infant Feeding Practices Study II (IFPS II) in 2005–2007. IFPS II was a longitudinal study focusing on infant feeding practices throughout the first year of life and the diets of women in their 3rd trimester and at four months postpartum. Infant feeding behaviors include patterns of breastfeeding, formula feeding, solid food intake, and feeding other complementary foods and liquids. IFPS II was conducted using monthly mail questionnaires to a sample from a national mail panel. In 2012, FDA and CDC conducted the Year Six Follow-Up (Y6FU) of the mothers and children who participated in the IFPS II to characterize the health, development, and dietary patterns of the children at 6 years of age.
Maternity Care Practices Survey
CDC has developed a survey of all labor and delivery service facilities in the United States in an effort to monitor maternity care practices associated with successful breastfeeding promotion and support. This systematic data collection of nationwide breastfeeding-related maternity care practices occurs every other year; the first survey was carried out in 2007, the second in 2009.
Healthstyles is a private proprietary national marketing survey that annually collects health-related opinions of men and women aged 18 years and above. Because Healthstyles includes a large, demographically diverse sample of the U.S. population, it reflects current social and cultural norms. CDC has contributed breastfeeding questions to the survey since 1999.
Other Monitoring Systems for Breastfeeding Data
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey is population-based research designed to collect information on the health and nutritional status of the U.S. household population. The survey consists of two segments: a home interview and a physical health examination. The 24 hour dietary recall has information about children who are breastfed during the recall period. In the reproductive health questionnaire, women who had one or more live born children were asked whether they breastfed their child or children. If they had they were then asked the number of children who were breastfed for at least one month. If any children were not breastfed for at least one month, women were asked the reasons for not breastfeeding. This information is not available for each individual birth but only as a summary for all children.
National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG)
The National Survey of Family Growth is sponsored by CDC's National Center for Health Statistics and provides valuable periodic data on factors affecting birth and pregnancy rates, adoption, and maternal and infant health. The data are the result of interviews with a national sampling of women 15–44 years of age in the civilian household population of the United States. In the 2002 round, men were added to the survey.
Breastfeeding questions on the survey assess whether an infant was breastfed, at what age supplemental foods or liquids were introduced, and the overall duration of breastfeeding. NSFG does not have information ion what other liquids or foods were given in addition to breast milk.
The Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System (PedNSS) and the Pregnancy Surveillance System (PNSS)
This website is archived and available through May, 2016.
CDC discontinued the Pediatric and Pregnancy Nutrition Surveillance Systems (PedNSS and PNSS) at the end of 2012. These program-based surveillance systems monitored the nutritional status of low-income infants, children, and women in federally funded maternal and child health programs. The most recent annual national PedNSS and PNSS data tables available on this website are for calendar year 2011.
Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)
The state-based Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System is conducted by CDC's Division of Reproductive Health. Surveys in selected states provide representative data on the incidence and duration of breastfeeding.
National Birth Certificate Data
The U.S. Standard Certificate of Live Birth was revised in 2003. For the first time in its history, the latest birth certificate includes a question on whether the newborn is being breastfed at the time of discharge from the birth facility. This information is collected from the birth facility's medical records.
2003 Revisions of the U.S. Standard Certificates of Live birth [PDF-84K]
Implementation of the revised certificate is being phased in by the states. As of the end of 2006, 19 states and Puerto Rico had implemented the revision. It is hoped that information on breastfeeding from the birth certificate will be available soon. CDC's National Center for Health Statistics develops annual reports on data collected from the nation's birth certificates. In the report entitled "Expanded Health Data from the New Birth Certificate, 2004," data from some of the revised items on the birth certificate are presented and described. These data were based on all birth records from the seven states that had implemented the revision as of January 1, 2004. The report is available at CDC/NCHS Web site.
- Page last reviewed: April 22, 2015
- Page last updated: June 17, 2015
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