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CDC: Breastfeeding Rates Up

77% of Babies Born in 2005-2006 Were Ever Breastfed, up From 60% in 1993-1994
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

April 30, 2008 -- The CDC reports that 77% of U.S. babies born in 2005-2006 were ever breastfed, up from 60% for babies born in 1993-1994.

The 2005-2006 figures beat the U.S. government's goal for 75% of babies to ever be breastfed in 2010.

Babies were more likely to have ever been breastfed if they were Mexican-American or white, if they were born to families with higher incomes, and if their mothers were at least 30 years old.

Here are the percentages of babies who were ever breastfed:

  • Mexican-American: 80%
  • White: 79%
  • African-American: 65%
  • High-income family: 74%
  • Low-income family: 57%
  • Mother age 30 or older: 75%
  • Mother age 20-29: 65%
  • Mother younger than age 20: 43%

The data came from government studies of about 5,000 people of all ages per year, including 434 babies born in 2005-2006.

The U.S. hasn't yet met the government's 2010 goal for half of all 6-month-old babies to be breastfed. Breastfeeding rates for 6-month-old babies ranged from 40% for Mexican-Americans to 35% for whites to 20% for African-Americans in 2004; those figures aren't available for 2005-2006, notes the CDC.

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