Thursday, August 2, 2007

U.S. breast feeding rates raise

U.S. breast-feeding rates rise to record high Reuters/Yahoo!News 8/2/07 "...The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 74 percent of American women who gave birth in 2004 breast-fed their babies for at least some period of time...The CDC report found that among infants born in 2004, the rate of exclusive breast-feeding through the first three months after birth was 31 percent, shy of the government's goal of 60 percent, and through six months was 11 percent, below the government target of 25 percent...The report detailed racial and socioeconomic disparities among women who provide their babies exclusively breast milk in these first months, with black, teen-age, rural, less-educated, lower-income and unmarried mothers less likely to do so...The 2004 breast-feeding rate of 74 percent was the highest since such statistics were first kept for U.S. women in the 1950s, Philip said. The lowest rate on record was in 1971, when only 25 percent of mothers breast-fed their infants ...The CDC noted that breast-feeding is associated with decreased risk for many diseases and conditions, including ear infections, respiratory tract infections, sudden infant death syndrome, obesity, eczema and diarrhea...It also is associated with health benefits to women, CDC said, including decreased risk for the most common form of diabetes, ovarian cancer and breast cancer. "Something I think a lot of people may not realize is that there are benefits to the mother as well as the child," Philip said"

An encouraging trend, but not nearly as eye popping at the story would at first present. 31% isn't much for 3 months and 11% is pathetic for 6 months. So it's a victory, although a rather shallow one.

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