Breastfeeding Rates Continue To Grow

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Breastfeeding Rates Continue To Grow: CDC Cites Latest Report Card Statistics, Showing More Women Choosing To Breastfeed

Usually these days if you reads a story about breastfeeding, it involves some benighted busybody fussing over a woman who has the temerity to care for her baby in the way that mammals have done for millions of years–in public.

That’s always the kicker, isn’t it? That the woman breastfed in public, allowing a partial glimpse of part of her body–a body part, let’s not forget, that we are all aware of from even our earliest years, obviously. It’s a body part that features prominently in countless advertisements, television shows and movies, only in those cases its usually covered with a flimsy layer of material. Hell, entire industries, entire empires have been built on breasts. To be afraid of seeing one uncovered in public is just…baffling.

Well, luckily the Centers for Disease Control are releasing a story that delivers some good news about breast feeding: the rate of women who breastfeed their children has gone up yet again, continuing a five-year trend.

The CDC issued their Breastfeeding Report Card based on data from 2013, which shows that 81.1 percent of mothers breastfed their children from birth. The previous such report card, which examined data from 2011, showed that just 79 percent of women breastfed from birth that year.

What’s more, over half–51.8 percent–of all those mothers who breastfed were still doing so six months later, and another 30.7 percent were still going when their child reached one year.

While celebrating that a large majority of mothers are breastfeeding for some period of time, CDC researchers added that the nation is well on its way toward a goal of 81.9 percent of newborns being breastfed. So far, over half of states hit that mark, 29 in all, including Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.

Individual taken, 12 states reached the six-month benchmark of 60.6 percent of women and 19 states hit the 12 month goal of 34.1 percent breastfeeding.

Of course, there is still a long way to go. With breastfeeding benefits for baby such as providing the ideal nutrition for a baby, much-needed antibodies to help the baby fight viruses and bacteria–some people refer to breastfeeding as “nature’s vaccination”–it’s hard to fathom what a really good reason for choosing not to perform this natural, ancient function might be.

And when you consider that babies who breastfeed have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea, you could even make the case that the mother could choose to breast feed for selfish reasons!

Luckily, times seem to be changing for the better, regarding treating women who breastfeed their babies in public as doing nothing more bizarre or offensive than giving a hungry toddler some crackers.

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