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Breastfeeding rates fall short of Healthy People 2010 target mommies quit too early

The good news is that more moms are it giving a try. The bad news is that many give it up too early. National statistics 2003-2004 show that about 71% of American moms start breastfeeding. However, this study by researchers at the Brigham Young University in Utah reports that only 36.4% of moms continue to breastfeed for six months and only 17.7% stick it out up to 12 months. According to the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies should be exclusively breastfed till the 6th month and to be mixed-fed with solids and breastmilk till the 12th month. The target of the US government’s Healthy People 2010 program is to have 50% of all babies breastfed for six months by 2010. With the 36% rate reported by the abovementioned study, it looks like the target can’t be met in less than 2 years’ time.

Other studies indicate that certain maternal traits including age and education level play a big role in breastfeeding. However, geography also plays a role – some states show very low breastfeeding rates compared to others. The results of the study are reported in a recent issue of the Journal of Human Lactation. This article entitledAre US Mothers Meeting the Healthy People 2010 Breastfeeding Targets for Initiation, Duration, and Exclusivity? The 2003 and 2004 National Immunization Surveys” is available free of charge from Sage Publications for a limited period only.

There are many reasons why mothers stop breastfeeding early and one of them is the lack of breastfeeding support as reported in a previous post.

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