Breastfeeding Report Card — United States, 2010
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    There are many ways that communities support mothers and babies to breastfeed, and everyone plays a role. The CDC Breastfeeding Report Card brings together state-by-state information to help tell the story of breastfeeding practices in states. It compiles many types of data so states can monitor progress, celebrate state successes, and identify opportunities to work with health professionals, legislators, employers, business owners, community advocates and family members to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.

    The Breastfeeding Report Card, now in its 5th year, provides perspectives on state and national trends in breastfeeding data. Since the release of the first Report Card in 2007, there have been steady improvements in several indicators, especially in 3 month and 6 month exclusive breastfeeding rates, which increased more than 5 and 4 percentage points, respectively. Changes in state and national rates are not attributable to any one factor. A woman’s ability to reach her breastfeeding goals is affected by a host of factors including support from her family, community, employer and health system.

    In the U.S., more babies are being born in facilities that have made special efforts to support breastfeeding than ever before. However, less than 5% of U.S. infants are born in Baby-Friendly hospitals. The hospital period is critical for mothers and babies to learn to breastfeed, and hospitals need to do more to support them. Hospitals can participate in the Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) survey, and use their results to improve maternity care practices. Hospitals can also work together to share information and experiences on how to achieve the Baby - Friendly designation. State health departments are a valuable resource that can provide technical assistance to hospitals seeking the Baby-Friendly designation.

    Child care providers play an important role in supporting employed, breastfeeding mothers. As an indicator of support for breastfeeding mothers, child care regulations first appeared on the report card in 2010. This year, state child care regulations related to breastfeeding have been classified to reflect the range of support in states based on the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education best care standards. States that received optimal scores were those whose regulations fully comply with national standards regarding breastfeeding, including arranging for a mother to be able to feed her child on-site.

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