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World Breastfeeding Week: August 1-7, 2019

Release Number CB19-SFS.87
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From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Breastfeeding Report Card, United States, 2018.

Overview

Breastfeeding, with its many known health benefits for infants, children, and mothers, is a key strategy to improve public health. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed for about the first 6 months with continued breastfeeding alongside introduction of complementary foods for at least 1 year. To track our nation’s progress on achieving the Healthy People 2020 goals, CDC’s 2018 Breastfeeding Report Card provides a compilation of data on breastfeeding practices and supports in all states, the District of Columbia (DC), Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands.

What Do the Numbers Tell Us?

Among infants born in 2015 in the United States, 4 out of 5 (83.2%) started to breastfeed, over half (57.6%) were breastfeeding at 6 months, and over one-third (35.9%) were breastfeeding at 12 months. Compared to rates for infants born in 2014, rates for infants born in 2015 increased for breastfeeding at 6 and 12 months.

High breastfeeding initiation rates show that most mothers in the United States want to breastfeed and start out doing so. However, despite the recommendation to breastfeed exclusively for about the first 6 months, less than 50% of infants were exclusively breastfed through 3 months and about 25% were exclusively breastfed through 6 months. These rates suggest that mothers may not be getting the support they need from health care providers, family members, and employers to meet their breastfeeding goals.

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Key Stats:

Source: 2006-2017 American Community Survey, 1-Year Estimates.

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More Stats:

From Census.gov /Topics /Health:

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Source: Population Division, 2018 Population and Housing Unit Estimates.

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Note: The table above is cropped on the bottom. Click on the image to see the full table.

Source: 2017 American Community Survey, 1-Year Estimates.

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Note: The table above is cropped on the right and bottom, and modified to hide margin of error columns. Click on the image to see the full table.


Source: 2016 County Business Patterns.

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