Breastfeeding Benefits & Barriers: Breastfeeding Statistics in the United States

previous page
Home Register Log in Log out Past Pages Recall References
Status: Not Logged In
next page
Introductory Topics
Table of Contents
Pre module evaluation
The History of Breastfeeding
The Advantages of Breastfeeding for the Baby
The Advantages of Breastfeeding for the Mother
Breastfeeding Statistics in the United States
Barriers to Breastfeeding
Summary
Post module evaluation
References

The Surgeon General's Goal for Healthy People 2010 is that:

  • 75% of women breastfeed their infants at hospital discharge,
  • 50% breastfeed their infants at 6 months of age, and
  • 25% breastfeed their infants at 12 months (1 year) of age.
  • 40% exclusively breastfeed their infants at 3 months of age
  • 17% exclusively breastfeed their infants at 6 months of age

In 2001, under the direction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Immunization Survey (NIS) began collecting data on breastfeeding as part of the annual NIS. Data from recall of breastfeeding history was obtained from a subset of infants 19-35 months of age at the time of the survey. The analysis of the survey results is weighted to represent the US population. Breastfeeding questions included: Was the child ever breastfed? How many months was the the child exclusively breastfed up to 6 months of age? How many months was the child receiving any breast milk up to 12 months of age?

Nationwide in 2010, of the infants who were now 19-35 months of age,

  • 75% were breastfed at birth,
  • 43% were breastfed at 6 months,
  • 22% were breastfed at 12 months,
  • 33% were exclusively breastfed at 3 months,and
  • 13% were exclusively breastfed at 6 months.

In 2010 the United States has, for the first time, met the Healthy People 2010 goal for breastfeeding initiation.

NIS results:

  • 25 states have greater than 75% of women breastfeeding at hospital discharge.
  • 14 states have greater than 50% of their infants being breastfed at 6 months of age.
  • 15 states have greater than 25% of their infants being breastfed at 1 year of age.
  • 17 states have greater than 40% of their infants being exclusively breastfed through 3 months of age.
  • 15 states have greater than 17% of their infants being exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age.
  • The 10 states of Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington have achieved all five of the Healthy People 2010 objectives above.
The CDC is also assessing support for breastfeeding in communities by measuring the following in each state:
  • Percentage of births occurring in Baby Friendly Hospitals,
  • Percentage of breastfed infants receiving formula before 2 days of age,
  • Number of lactation consultants (IBCLC certified)/1000 births,
  • Laws/regulations protecting breastfeeding in public, supporting breastfeeding mothers who return to work, and supporting breastfeeding in child care centers ,
  • Public health department personnel assigned to promote breastfeeding, and
  • A state breastfeeding coalition with a public website
To see how your state scores in breastfeeding rates and support for breastfeeding visit the CDC Breastfeeding Report Card ( Memorize CDC, 2010 ).



previous page next page
previous page next page

email -- Copyright 1998 Mary O'Connor MD, MPH -- Unauthorized use prohibited