Most Mothers Breastfeed, but Not for Long

ATLANTA, Sept. 13 (UPI) — Seventy-five percent of U.S. infants were breastfed in 2007 but only 43 percent were still being breastfed six months later as recommended, officials say.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2010 Breastfeeding Report Card says the 75 percent breastfeeding rate at birth meets the National Healthy People 2010 goal. However, breastfeeding rates differ among states — from nearly 90 percent in Utah to 52.5 percent in Mississippi.

The National Healthy People 2010 objectives call for 50 percent of new mothers to breastfeed for as much as six months and 25 percent to breastfeed for one year. Sixty-two percent of new mothers in Oregon and about 20 percent in Louisiana breastfed their babies at six months, while 40 percent breastfed their babies at one year in Oregon and 8 percent in Mississippi.

“Meeting the national breastfeeding initiation goal is a great accomplishment in women’s and children’s health, but we have more work ahead,” Dr. William Dietz, director of CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. “We need to direct even more effort toward making sure mothers have the support they need in hospitals, workplaces and communities to continue breastfeeding beyond the first few days of life, so they can make it to those six and 12 month marks.”

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