Why It Matters

1 in 4

Only 1 in 4 infants is exclusively breastfed as recommended by the time they are 6 months old.


Low rates of breastfeeding add more than $3 billion a year to medical costs for the mother and child in the United States.

A crawling infant

More than three quarters (77%) of Black infants are ever breastfed, which is below the national average of 83%.

Breastfeeding Benefits Both Babies and Mothers

Benefits for Infants

A baby boy

Infants who are breastfed have reduced risks of:

Benefits for Mothers

Expecting mother

Breastfeeding can help lower a mother’s risk of:

  • High blood pressure.
  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • Ovarian cancer.
  • Breast cancer.

“Breastfeeding provides unmatched health benefits for babies and mothers. It is the clinical gold standard for infant feeding and nutrition, with breast milk uniquely tailored to meet the health needs of a growing baby. We must do more to create supportive and safe environments for mothers who choose to breastfeed.”

Dr. Ruth Petersen, director of CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity

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