More moms are breastfeeding their babies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its annual Breastfeeding Report Card and found that 76.9 percent of moms initiated breastfeeding at birth in 2009; that's a two percent increase from the year before (74.6 percent). This is the largest annual increase over the last ten years. At age six months, the CDC says about 47.2 percent of babies were still being breastfed, an increase from 44.3 percent. And at one year, the rate was 25.5 percent, up from 23.8 percent.
The CDC says its main goal is to improve the health of mothers and babies and that "protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding, with its many known benefits for infants, children, and mothers, is a key strategy toward this goal." In other words, they want to keep these stats on an upswing, since there are so many health benefits to breastfeeding. A few of the ways they want to help moms succeed at breastfeeding include more breastfeeding support for new moms in hospitals and birth centers, more access to lactation consultants and better regulations to make sure child care centers support breastfeeding moms.
Did you/do you breastfeed? What do you think helped you make the decision (and stick to it)?