Racial Disparities in Access to Maternity Care Practices That Support Breastfeeding — United States, 2011
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Racial Disparities in Access to Maternity Care Practices That Support Breastfeeding — United States, 2011

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    • Alternative Title:
      MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
    • Description:
      Despite the well documented health benefits of breastfeeding, initiation of breastfeeding and breastfeeding duration rates among black infants in the United States are approximately 16% lower than among whites. Although many factors play a role in a woman's ability to breastfeed, experiences during the childbirth hospitalization are critical for establishing breastfeeding. To analyze whether the implementation by maternity facilities of practices that support breastfeeding varied depending on the racial composition of the area surrounding the facility, CDC linked data from its 2011 Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) survey to U.S. Census data on the percentage of blacks living within the zip code area of each facility. The results of that analysis indicated that facilities in zip code areas where the percentage of black residents was >12.2% (the national average during 2007-2011) were less likely than facilities in zip code areas where the percentage was ≤12.2% to meet five of 10 mPINC indicators for recommended practices supportive of breastfeeding and more likely to implement one practice; differences for the other four practices were not statistically significant. Comparing facilities in areas with >12.2% black residents with facilities in areas with ≤12.2% black residents, the largest differences were in the percentage of facilities that implemented recommended practices related to early initiation of breastfeeding (46.0% compared with 59.9%), limited use of breastfeeding supplements (13.1% compared with 25.8%), and rooming-in (27.7% compared with 39.4%). These findings suggest there are racial disparities in access to maternity care practices known to support breastfeeding.
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