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U.S. Breastfeeding Rates Continue to Rise

Keeping moms and babies together during the hospital stay is important to progress

Breastfeeding rates have continued to rise over the past decade, according to data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The percent of babies breastfeeding at six months increased from 35 percent in 2000 to 49 percent in 2010. The percent of babies breastfeeding at 12 months also increased from 16 percent to 27 percent during that same time period. The data show that babies who started breastfeeding increased from 71 percent in 2000 to 77 percent in 2010.

“This is great news for the health of our nation because babies who are breastfed have lower risks of ear and gastrointestinal infections, diabetes and obesity, and mothers who breastfeed have lower risks of breast and ovarian cancers,” said CDC Director, Tom Frieden, M.D. M.P.H. “Also, breastfeeding lowers health care costs. Researchers have calculated that $2.2 billion in yearly medical costs could be saved if breastfeeding recommendations were met. It is critical that we continue working to improve hospital, community and workplace support for breastfeeding mothers and babies and realize these cost savings.”

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