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Breastfeeding Rates Continue To Rise In The U.S.

The CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity recently released the 2016 Breastfeeding Report Card . The CDC Breastfeeding Report card provides information about our nation’s breastfeeding practices and supports in all U.S. states, the District of Columbia (D.C.), and Puerto Rico.

The 2016 Breastfeeding Report Card highlights the following breastfeeding rates among infants born in 2013:

  • 4 out of 5 (81.1%) started to breastfeed. High breastfeeding initiation rates, or the percentage of infants who start out breastfeeding, show that most mothers in the U.S. want to breastfeed and are trying to do so.
  • Over half (51.8%) were breastfeeding at 6 months.
  • Almost one third (30.7%) were breastfeeding at 12 months.

Data show that while breastfeeding rates have continued to rise, many mothers are not meeting the recommendations for continued and exclusive breastfeeding.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants are breastfed exclusively for about the first 6 months and that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mother and baby desire.

Lower rates of continued breastfeeding suggest that many mothers may lack ongoing breastfeeding support.Helping mothers achieve their breastfeeding goals can be improved through active support from their families, friends, communities, clinicians, health care leaders, employers, and policymakers.

What's New?!

The percent of live births occurring at hospitals that have been designated Baby-Friendly by the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative increased from 7.8% in 2014 to 18.3% in 2016, an encouraging trend in improved maternity care practices that support mothers and infants.

The 2016 Breastfeeding Report Card includes breastfeeding rates from Puerto Rico for the first time!

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