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Breastfeeding is not catching on. (FYI).

Only 47% of American children younger than six included in a nationally representative survey taken in 1991-1994 had been exclusively breastfed when they were one week old, and only 10% at six months of age. (1) Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months reduces infants' risk of many illnesses and is strongly encouraged by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization. The survey reveals that exclusive breastfeeding at six months of age was particularly uncommon among low-birth-weight and preterm infants, and among those born to black women, teenagers, smokers, residents of the South and women at the lowest income and educational levels (3-7%). Data on the proportions of children who had ever been breastfed showed similar patterns. Only three subgroups of women met the Healthy People 2010 objective of having at least 75% of mothers breastfeed at some time: women who had graduated from college (82%), those who lived in a household headed by a college graduate (80%) and those in the highest income category (75%).

(1.) Ruowei L et al., Prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding among US infants, American Journal of Public Health, 2002, 92(7): 1107-1110.
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Author:Hollander, Dore
Publication:Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2002
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