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The CDC released positive news last week regarding breastfeeding rates in the United States – they are going up! This is extremely good news for moms and babies throughout our communities, as it means the recent messages about the importance of breastfeeding are beginning to positively affect how moms feed their babies. According to the study, the number of breastfeeding moms increased by more than four percent from 2000 to 2008. Also over that time, the number of moms who continued to breastfeed their babies beyond the first six months of life climbed from 35 percent in 2000 to 45 percent in 2008.
With more women breastfeeding, more babies across all racial, ethnic and socio-economic groups are receiving breastmilk. Gaps in breastfeeding rates between African American and Caucasian mothers have also narrowed. The difference in the rate of breastfeeding between these groups decreased between 2000 and 2008 by eight percent, dropping from 24 to 16 percent.
“Breastfeeding is good for the mother and for the infant – and the striking news here is, hundreds of thousands more babies are being breastfed than in past years, and this increase has been seen across most racial and ethnic groups,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Despite these increases, many mothers who want to breastfeed are still not getting the support they need from hospitals, doctors, or employers. We must redouble our efforts to support mothers who want to breastfeed.”
To further increase the success of breastfeeding among African American moms, the CDC is supporting Best-Fed Beginnings, a program operated by the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality that is focused on improving practices in hospitals across the country to better support breastfeeding mothers. Best-Fed Beginnings supports 90 hospitals across the country, many serving minority and low-income populations.
To also support further education about the benefits of breastfeeding to moms, the CDC has awarded six state health departments with grants to develop breastfeeding support systems within minority communities.
In my work with lactation professionals and the medical community around the country, I’ve seen firsthand the importance of breastfeeding education and promotion. Through the great interactions and feedback we receive from the Lansinoh community via OnCloudMom and our Facebook and Twitter channels, I’m also continually inspired by the moms, dads, sisters, brothers, grandparents and friends who support and understand the value of breastfeeding.
While many may already know the value of breastfeeding, it is tremendous to have the CDC support the cause and help spread the word.
Lansinoh is taking this education mission very seriously, and we are honored to be continuing our work across the country supporting professionals, networks of moms, and community groups who advocate for breastfeeding.
Next year, we hope the breastfeeding statistics continue to grow!
Have a great weekend,