February 11, 2013
More Mothers Are Breastfeeding
African American Mothers Need More Support
In addition to increases among all groups, gaps in breastfeeding rates between African American and white mothers are narrowing. The gap narrowed from 24 percentage points in 2000 to 16 percentage points in 2008.
“Breastfeeding is good for the mother and for the infant – and the striking news here is, hundreds of thousands more babies are being breastfed than in past years, and this increase has been seen across most racial and ethnic groups,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Despite these increases, many mothers who want to breastfeed are still not getting the support they need from hospitals, doctors, or employers. We must redouble our efforts to support mothers who want to breastfeed.”
While gaps continue to narrow among groups, more targeted strategies to increase breastfeeding support for African American mothers are still needed. To address this, CDC is currently funding Best-Fed Beginnings , a project that provides support to 89 hospitals, many serving minority and low income populations, to improve hospital practices that support breastfeeding mothers. CDC has also recently awarded funds to six state health departments to develop community breastfeeding support systems in communities of color.
For more information about U. S. breastfeeding trends read: MMWR, Progress in Increasing Breastfeeding and Reducing Racial/Ethnic Differences — United States, 2000-2008 Births
For more information about CDC efforts to improve support for breastfeeding mothers, specifically hospital practices to support breastfeeding, visit: CDC’s Breastfeeding Promotion
- CDC Breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding Report Card —United States, 2012
- The Surgeon General‘s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding
- Need information about breast feeding? Visit: Women’s Health.gov
- Need help Breastfeeding? Visit: La Leche League