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Saturday, May 03, 2008

Breastfeeding Rates Up in U.S.

All major physician, nursing, and health groups recommend breastfeeding for all mothers who are able to do so. Most studies also show that breastfeeding can play a major role in decreasing the likelihood or severity of dairy allergies in infants with family histories of allergies.

So it is very good news to learn that a variety of studies have shown that breastfeeding rates are up across the board in the U.S. over the past 20 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Mike Stobbe reported the numbers in the Seattle Times.

About 77 percent of new mothers breast-feed, at least briefly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

"It looks like it is an all-time high" based on CDC surveys since the mid-1980s, said Jeff Lancashire, a CDC spokesman.

Experts attributed the rise to education campaigns that emphasize that breast milk is better than formula at protecting babies against disease and childhood obesity. A changing culture that accommodates nursing mothers may also be a factor.

The percentage of black infants who were ever breast-fed rose most dramatically, to 65 percent. Only 36 percent were ever breast-fed in 1993-1994, the new study found.

For whites, the figure rose to 79 percent, from 62 percent. For Mexican-Americans, it increased to 80 percent, from 67 percent.

...

At least three types of CDC surveys have shown breast-feeding rates moving upward since the early 1990s, officials said.

The latest CDC report found rates of breast-feeding were also lowest among women who are unmarried, poor, rural, younger than 20, and have a high school education or less.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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