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The Breastfeeding Report Card: How is Your State Doing?

breastfeeding rates in america

How the states stack up in nursing

This September, the CDC released its Breastfeeding Report Card, a state-by-state breakdown of how many moms in the U.S. breastfeed. Two facts that we heard about at the time were that three out of four moms nurse after delivery (a thumbs up from the CDC on this one), but that more than half stop before six months are up.

This week’s Science of Kids article Breastfeeding in the U.S.A. is a more detailed breakdown of the state’s numbers. And some of them will surprise you. For example, 75 percent of moms in this country initiate breastfeeding. In Utah, it’s 90 percent. In West Virginia, 53.

Which states get an A in nursing?

The northwestern states are the strongest, along with Alaska, Hawaii, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire. For example, in Montana, 50 percent of moms are exclusively breastfeeding at three months (the national average is 33 percent). In Oregon, 62 percent of moms are breastfeeding at six months — in Louisiana it’s 20 percent.

Exclusive versus non-exclusive — also a big difference in numbers. When we say that over half of moms stop breastfeeding before six months are up, that’s moms who are giving any breast milk. The number doing so exclusively is 13 percent (7 in some states).

The report also breaks down hospital practices, for example how many babies in each state are fed formula in the first two days of life. Read the full article for more numbers and analysis.

Image: Babble

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