Promotion & Support
One of the most highly effective preventive measures a mother can take to protect the health of her infant is to breastfeed. However, in the United States, although most mothers hope to breastfeed, and 79% of babies start out being breastfed, only 19% are exclusively breastfed 6 months later. Additionally, rates are significantly lower for African-American infants.
The success rate among mothers who want to breastfeed can be greatly improved through active support from their families, friends, communities, clinicians, health care leaders, employers, and policymakers. Given the importance of breastfeeding for the health and well-being of mothers and children, it is critical that we take action across the country to support breastfeeding.
Who Can Help Support Breastfeeding?
October 2015 Vital Signs
2011 Surgeon General's Call to Action
- CDC Vital Signs: Hospital Support for Breastfeeding
- The CDC Guide to Breastfeeding Interventions
- USDA's Loving Support Program
- HHS Office on Women's Health
- DNPAO State Program Highlights: Maternity Care Practices [PDF-134KB]
- DNPAO State Program Highlights: Support for Breastfeeding in the Workplace [PDF-136KB]
- Page last reviewed: October 1, 2015
- Page last updated: October 1, 2015
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