HealthDay News — Most infants born in 2015 started breastfeeding, but many stopped earlier than recommended, according to a report card published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC compiled data on breastfeeding practices and supports in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands.
According to the report, 83.2% of infants born in 2015 in the United States started to breastfeed, 57.6% were breastfeeding at 6 months, and 35.9% were breastfeeding at 12 months. Rates of breastfeeding at 6 and 12 months were increased for infants born in 2015 vs those born in 2014. Less than 50% of infants (46.9 %) were exclusively breastfed through three months and 24.9 % were exclusively breastfed through six months, despite the recommendation to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months. The rates of exclusive breastfeeding at three and six months were virtually the same for infants born in 2015 compared with infants born in 2014. Forty-nine percent of employers provided a separate on-site lactation room/mother’s room in 2018. Nationwide, 5 of 8 Healthy People 2020 breastfeeding objectives have been met.
“The more we support breastfeeding mothers, the more likely they will be able to reach their breastfeeding goals,” Ruth Petersen, MD, MPH, director of the CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, said in a statement.