The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) monitors statistics to track our country’s progress in reaching certain health goals, including relating to breastfeeding. The CDC recently published its 2018 Breastfeeding Report Card and here are a few statistics that jumped out:
- Among infants born in the United States in 2015, 57.6% were breastfed for at least six (6) months and 35.9% were breastfed for at least one (1) year. Breastfeeding rates in Illinois are below the national average, with only 53% of infants breastfed for six (6) months and only 33.8% being breastfed for at least one (1) year.
- Despite authorities recommending that infants be breastfeed exclusively for the first six (6) months, less than 50% were exclusively breastfeed for three (3) months and only 25% completed the six (6) month minimum recommended period. According to the Report Card, “These rates suggest that mothers may not be getting the support they need from health care providers, family members, and employers to meet their breastfeeding goals.”
- 26.1% of babies born in the United States in 2018 were born at Baby-Friendly facilities, but the number drops to 22.3% for babies born in Illinois.
- Through 2018, only 49% of employers provide a separate onsite lactation room.
- In encouraging news, 5 of the 8 breastfeeding Healthy People 2020 Objectives have already been satisfied: