CDC: RI Breastfeeding Rates Start Strong, Taper Off Long Term

Friday, September 17, 2010


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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released their annual Breastfeeding Report Card this week, revealing 3 out of every 4 new mothers in the U.S. now starts out breastfeeding, meeting the Healthy People 2010 national objective for breastfeeding initiation. Rhode Island performed well in the overall percent of mothers who have ever breastfed, scoring 70.8% and meeting the Healthy People goal, however, rates of breastfeeding at 6 and 12 months as well as rates of exclusive breastfeeding at 3 and 6 months remain stagnant and low, along with the national average.

Room For Improvement Long Term

Though more babies in the U.S. are now born at Baby-Friendly™ facilities than ever, these births still represent less than 4% of all U.S. births. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), launched in 1991, is an effort by UNICEF and the World Health Organization to ensure that all maternities, whether free standing or in a hospital, become centers of breastfeeding support. 

Local Outreach

A greater number of people are now working on improving how states support mothers and babies to breastfeed. Nationwide, health departments now dedicate nearly 97 full-time equivalents (FTEs) to supporting breastfeeding mothers and babies in their states. Locally, the Rhode Island Breastfeeding Coalition, established in 1992, works to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding throughout the state by increasing awareness and developing community resources. For more information on the coalition, click here.


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