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How To... - Interpret Data - Case Studies - Breastfeeding
Who and When: Is breastfeeding prevalence increasing or decreasing among racial and ethnic groups over time?

 
More info on Breastfeeding Case Study:
 Is low breastfeeding prevalence a health problem?
 Is it changing over time?
 Where is the problem?
 Who is affected?
 Is it changing among specific groups over time?
   

In addition to knowing who is at risk, it is also helpful to determine how breastfeeding prevalences have changed by race and ethnicity over time. The PedNSS Table 19C, Summary of Trends in Breastfeeding Indicators by Race/Ethnicity, provides breastfeeding trends for the most recent 10 years by race and ethnicity.


Sample: The PedNSS Table 19C, Summary of Trends in Breastfeeding Indicators by Race/Ethnicity

table showing prevalence of trends in breastfeeding indicators by race/ethnicity 1992-2001

1 Data are shown for the most recent 10-year trend from 1992 to 2001 by race/ethnicity.
2 The prevalence of black infants that were ever breastfed increased from 13.8% in 1992 to 30.8% in 2001. Although black infants have the lowest prevalence of ever breastfed, they had the largest relative increase of 198% ((30.8 minus 13.8)/13.8 = 1.98 x 100 = 198%) in the percentage of infants ever breastfed during this time period compared to other racial/ethnic groups.
3 Hispanic infants who have the highest prevalence of ever breastfed for the same time period had the next largest increase, a relative increase of 73% ((62.7 minus 36.1)/36.1 = 0.73 x 100 = 73%) or a change in prevalence from 36.1% to 62.7%.

This graph, derived from Table 19C, shows the gradual increase in prevalence of ever breastfed for all racial and ethnic groups except for back infants who had a more rapid increase in the prevalence of ever breastfed shown by the line with the square symbol.

Trends in the percentage of infants ever breastfed
* by race and ethnicity
Trends in the percentage of infants ever breastfed by race and ethnicity

* Among infants born during the reporting period. Year 2010 target: increase the proportion of mothers who breastfeed their babies in the early postpartum period to 75%.


Who and When: Is breastfeeding prevalence increasing or decreasing among race and ethnic groups over time?

Gradual increases in breastfeeding prevalence have been observed for all race and ethnic groups between 1992 and 2001. However, the largest relative gains are among black and Hispanic infants.


Summary

Despite increases observed over the last 10 years, in 2001 the prevalence of infants ever breastfed and breastfed 6 and 12 months was below the Healthy People 2010 target. The epidemiological analysis of breastfeeding data enabled us to identify at least two opportunities where the WIC program could intervene. First, the low breastfeeding prevalence is a concern for all race and ethnic groups and secondly, a large decrease in the prevalence (31% relative decrease) occurs for infants breastfed between 1 and 6 weeks of age. Developing and implementing appropriate interventions for each of these observations may improve breastfeeding prevalence in the state WIC PedNSS population. Additionally, it might be helpful to learn more about interventions that have been implemented in the counties where the breastfeeding prevalence are the highest.

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United States Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity

This page last updated November 04, 2009

United States Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity