Almost half of all babies born in the United States -- 47.2% to be exact -- are still
That news comes on the day that a provision of the
The healthcare reform law also requires employers to provide
Among babies born in the United States in 2009, 76.9% were breastfed at least once, 47.2% were still being breastfed at 6 months and 25.5% were still being breastfed when they reached their first birthday, said the CDC report. All of those figures represent a jump of about 2 percentage points over breastfeeding rates in 2008. And they are well above breastfeeding rates measured in 2000, when 34.2% of infants were still being breastfed at 6 months and 15.7% at 12 months
Despite medical and government recommendations that women breastfeed their babies exclusively for at least six months, only 16.3% of American babies are fed only breast milk by that age, the CDC reported. At three months, 36% of babies get all their nutrition from breast milk.
Breastfeeding is linked to a wide range of benefits for both mother and baby. Babies who have been breastfed have lower rates of middle
In a state-by-state breakdown of breastfeeding practices, the CDC showed Utah, Oregon, Vermont and New Hampshire to be among the nation's breastfeeding champions, with rates of breastfeeding at 6 and 12 months well above the national average. Among the states with the lowest rates of breastfeeding were those which, not coincidentally, have the highest rates of diabetes and
California showed rates of breastfeeding well above the national average, with 87.6% of babies born in 2009 initially breastfeeding, 56.1% still nursing at 6 months and 31.1% still nursing at 12 months.