2016 Breastfeeding Data Show Impressive Gains for Southeastern US & Massachusetts

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We have a lot to celebrate during this National Breastfeeding Month and Black Breastfeeding Week. Nationally, the number of births at Baby Friendly facilities has gone from 7.8% in 2014 to 18.3% in 2016, with a large amount of those gains being in the Southeastern United States, which has had historically some of the nation’s lowest breastfeeding rates. The newly released Breastfeeding Report Card from the CDC is raising hope for closing breastfeeding inequities. (The Southeastern states are home to 57% of our African American population, according to 2010 census data.) In that region, focused efforts by the CDC to increase the number of Baby Friendly hospitals through the Best-Fed Beginnings initiative and through the EMPower Breastfeeding initiative, and by the CHAMPS initiative funded by the WK Kellogg Foundation, have markedly increased the number of Baby-Friendly facilities. In most cases, breastfeeding rates have also increased.

 

In New England, which historically has higher breastfeeding rates, Rhode Island leads the nation in percentage of births at Baby Friendly facilities at an astounding rate of 98.2%. Massachusetts has nearly doubled its rate of births in Baby Friendly facilities when Massachusetts General Hospital became Baby Friendly in 2015 in since 2014, the breastfeeding rate has mad one of the most impressive gains in the nation, going from 54.7% at 6 months to 67.9%.

 

Southeastern US

State Percent live births in Baby Friendly Facilities

2016 rate (2014 rate)

Breastfeeding rate at 6 months

2016 rate (2014 rate)

US National 18.3 (7.8) 51.8 (49.4)
South Carolina 33.4 (9.3) 44.0 (37.4)
North Carolina 28.7 (9.8) 47.5 (48.3)
Kentucky 20.3 (5.8) 35.3 (31.5)
Alabama 13.6 (2.5) 35.8 (32.1)
Louisiana 12.7 (0) 31.2 (30.3)
Georgia 12.4 (0) 48.9 (40.7)
Tennessee 11.2 (0.1) 42.5 (40.7)
Florida 10.4 (2.6) 47.3 (48.7)
Arkansas 6.9 (0) 39.5 (32.3)
Mississippi 6.1 (0) 23.9 (28.7)

 

 

New England

State Percent live births in Baby Friendly Facilities

2016 rate (2014 rate)

Breastfeeding rate at 6 months

2016 rate (2014 rate)

US National 18.3 (7.8) 51.8 (49.4)
Rhode Island 98.2 (10.5) 56.0 (47.0)
New Hampshire 50.0 (36.0) 54.8 (57.6)
Connecticut 47.0 (28.6) 55.3 (51.4)
Maine 19.4 (27.6) 61.1 (50.5)
Massachusetts 13.2 (7.1) 67.9 (53.7)
Vermont 8.1 (3.2) 64.6 (66.5)