The 2012 CDC Breastfeeding Report Card is out! This year the CDC has some good news to report. Breastfeeding rates are up, with increases in the initiation rate and any breastfeeding at 6 and 12 months. The overall breastfeeding initiation rate in the US is 76.9%.
The Report Card also provides a snapshot of what breastfeeding is like in each state. Here in Florida the initiation rate is on par with the country as a whole, with 77% of women ever breastfeeding. I was surprised to see that 30% of women are still breastfeeding here at a year of age. I almost never see anyone ever breastfeeding in public (I can count on both hands how often I've seen it in about 5 years), but it's good to know things in this area are actually better than they seem.
Some other things from the report that I found interesting were that New Jersey had the highest rate of supplementation in the hospital, with 35% of breastfed babies receiving formula before day 2. I really assumed it would be one of the southern states that would win that dubious distinction, since our rates down here are so poor (Mississippi can still wave the "lowest initiation rate in the country" flag, with a paltry 47% of babies there ever getting any breastmilk). I was also shocked that Vermont had far and away more IBCLCs per live birth than any other state (seriously, they had nearly 14, while everyone else had about 3).
Overall I'm happy to see an increase in rates, even it's tiny (about 2%). I'm really looking forward to the updated Racial and Ethnic Differences in Breastfeeding Initiation and Duration information that comes out as a part of the National Immunization Survey. This should be available in January 2013 and will give us a better picture of what the breastfeeding landscape looks like for black women.
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