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August 2016 Marks 5 Year Anniversary of National Breastfeeding Month

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August 2016 Marks 5 Year Anniversary of National Breastfeeding Month

The United States Breastfeeding Committee officially announced August as National Breastfeeding Month beginning in 2011. That same year, The Office of the Surgeon General released The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, which promoted greater community awareness and support of breastfeeding mothers.

This year, the United States Breastfeeding Committee celebrates the five year anniversary of National Breastfeeding Month as well as The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding with a theme of “reflecting back and looking forward.”

In honor of this year’s National Breastfeeding Month, the statistics below, taken from the CDC and HealthyPeople 2020, highlight successes of and goals for rates of U.S. breastfeeding mothers:

  • In 2006, 74% of infants born in the U.S. were ever breastfed (HealthyPeople 2020). In 2011, this number rose to 79% (CDC).
    • HealthyPeople 2020 objective: 81.9% of infants born in the U.S. will have ever been breastfed.
  • In 2006, 43.5% of infants born in the U.S. were breastfed at 6 months (HealthyPeople 2020). In 2011, this number reached 49% (CDC).
    • HealthyPeople 2020 objective: 60.6% of infants born in the U.S. will have been breastfed at 6 months.
  • In 2006, 22.7% of infants born in the U.S. were breastfed at 1 year (HealthyPeople 2020). In 2011, this number rose to 27% (CDC).
    • HealthyPeople 2020 objective: 34.1% of infants born in the U.S. will have been breastfed at 1 year.

World Breastfeeding Week was August 1 – 7, 2016.  In September 2015 world leaders committed to 17 goals aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet and fight inequality and injustice. These goals form the Sustainable Development Goals to be met by 2030.  The theme for the 2016 World Breastfeeding Week was raising awareness of the links between breastfeeding and the Sustainable Development Goals.  According to UNICEF and the World Health Organization:

“Breastfeeding is one of the most effective – and cost-effective – ways to save and improve the lives of children everywhere, yielding lifelong health benefits for infants and their mothers. And increasingly, it is clear that breastfeeding is not only the cornerstone of a child’s healthy development; it is also the foundation of a country’s development.”

For more information, see the CDC 2014 Breastfeeding Report Card and the HealthyPeople 2020 Maternal, Infant, and Child Health Objectives.

 

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