Breastfeeding rates in the U.S. continue to rise

Breastfeeding rates continue to rise in the U.S.
Breastfeeding rates continue to rise in the U.S.

Breastfeeding rates continue to rise in the U.S.Breastfeeding rates across the country continue to climb, with the past year showing the largest annual increase over the previous decade, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC report, “Breastfeeding Report Card – United States, 2012,” showed that 77 percent of moms initiated breastfeeding, and there were increases in the percent of moms who continued breastfeeding to six or 12 months.

“This encouraging increase shows that the evidence around the benefits of breastfeeding is compelling to pregnant women, and the health care providers and hospitals that care for them,” said Michele Deck, Lamaze International president and childbirth educator. “Scientific research shows breastfeeding helps ensure babies are well nourished, protected against disease, and given the best chance to develop optimally. What women need most often is good information and support to get breastfeeding off to a good start, and to help them reach their breastfeeding goals.”

According to the CDC report, there are also national improvements in hospital maternity care practices that support breastfeeding; however, the indicators show that there is room for improvement to ensure moms are getting the quality care that can help them reach their breastfeeding goals. Valuable resources and information for expecting parents, like Lamaze’s Push for Your Baby are aimed at giving expecting parents the tools to push for the best care practices for moms and babies, including those that support breastfeeding education and awareness.

“While breastfeeding is natural, it doesn’t always come naturally,” said Deck. “Many moms have difficulties establishing breastfeeding and some of this may be due to birth practices that aren’t the best for moms and babies. Pregnant women can help to push for the best birth and breastfeeding experiences by using childbirth education to understand the most common barriers and how to navigate them.”


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