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Why It Matters

1 in 4

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

Money

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

Black infants are 21% less likely to have ever been breastfed than white infants.

Breastfeeding is an Investment in Health, Not Just a Lifestyle Decision

Benefits for Infants

A baby boy

Infants who are breastfed have reduced
risks of:

  • Asthma
  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Ear and respiratory infections
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Benefits for Mothers

Expecting mother

Breastfeeding can help lower a mother’s risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • 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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