Have you ever wondered how many mothers in your area are breastfeeding? The CDC now has a state-by-state report that shows percentages of mothers breastfeeding at birth, three months, six months, and a year. Oregon, where I live, is in the top ten for every stage, according to my preliminary reading of the report. Only one state, Vermont, has more mothers breastfeeding at one year (38.4%), than Oregon (37%). Of course, breastfeeding is not the only way, or even necessarily the most important, to promote the health of babies, and there are people who have real issues preventing them from successfully breastfeeding, even if they want to. However, we do know that breastfeeding is very healthy for moms and babies and that many people who want to breastfeed don't get adequate support or information to enable them to stick with it.
The CDC explains the purpose of the report:
"Throughout your community, everyone plays a role in fostering breastfeeding. When health care professionals, legislators, employers, business owners, and community and family members work together, their efforts can increase the number of women who are able to start breastfeeding and the length of time they continue to breastfeed.
The 2009 Breastfeeding Report Card shows how breastfeeding is being protected, promoted, and supported in each state* using five “outcome” and nine “process” indicators. This allows you to make comparisons across states and indicators and work to increase breastfeeding nationwide."
You can check out the report by downloading the .pdf file from:
How does your state compare? Were these number a surprise to you?