Breastfeeding report card : United States, 2014
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      Improving the health of Americans is a primary goal of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Breastfeeding, with its many known health benefits for infants, children, and mothers, is a key strategy to accomplish this goal. There are many ways that communities can support breastfeeding mothers and babies, and everyone plays a role. The CDC Breastfeeding Report Card provides information on breastfeeding practices and supports in all states. Public health practitioners can use the Report Card to monitor progress, celebrate success, and identify opportunities to work with health professionals and community members. Breastfeeding rates continue to rise in the United States. In 2011, 79% of newborn infants started to breastfeed. Yet breastfeeding did not continue for as long as recommended. Of infants born in 2011, 49% were breastfeeding at 6 months and 27% at 12 months. Professional lactation support can help mothers initiate and continue breastfeeding. The Report Card has been used to track the number of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) per 1,000 live births since 2006. This year’s Report Card also includes the number of Certified Lactation Counselors (CLCs) per 1,000 live births. From 2006 through 2013, the number of IBCLCs increased from 2.1 to 3.5 per 1,000 live births. In 2013, there were 3.8 CLCs per 1,000 live births, compared to only 2.5 in 2011. In Alaska, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Vermont, there are now at least 6 IBCLCs per 1,000 live births; in 19 states, there are now at least 6 CLCs per 1,000 live births. However, there is limited availability of either type of professional in 11 states, with fewer than 3 IBCLCs and fewer than 3 CLCs per 1,000 live births. CS249690
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