Report Shows Breastfeeding Rates Continue To Rise In The U.S.

9/16/2016 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released its 2016 Breastfeeding Report Card, which highlights breastfeeding rates for babies born in the U.S. and Puerto Rico during 2013. The report states that the overall breastfeeding initiation rate, which measures the percentage of infants who start out breastfeeding, has risen to 81.1 percent. The report also shows a breastfeeding rate of 51.8 percent for babies who are 6 months old, and a rate of 30.7 percent for babies at 12 months of age.

Each of the above measures have increased since the last Breastfeeding Report Card in 2014, and they are nearing the breastfeeding goals outlined Healthy People 2020, a federal initiative managed by The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

While the continued uptick in breastfeeding rates are encouraging, the CDC's report notes that the drop off in breastfeeding for babies at 6 and 12 months of age "suggest that mothers, in part, may not be getting the support they need [to continue breastfeeding], such as from healthcare providers, family members, and employers."

The Report Card contains breastfeeding statistics for all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. It also measures several breastfeeding support indicators. Breastfeeding rates come from the National Immunization Surveys, which provides current estimates of vaccination coverage for U.S. children and has integrated breastfeeding questions to track breastfeeding in the U.S. since 2001.

Visit the "Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding" to read the Academy's position on breastfeeding.