CDC breastfeeding data shows continued geographic disparities; CDC highlights MA

 

While the US made modest gains in breastfeeding overall, not all states benefited equally.  While Massachusetts ranked fourth in breastfeeding initiation and ranked highly in all other categories, Mississippi ranked dead last in every single breastfeeding metric, an inconsistency not seen in any other state or US territory. The most alarming disparities occurred with initiation, where the nation saw almost a biphasic distribution in which most states had initiation rates in the 80’s or 90’s, led by Idaho at 93.2%, while a cluster of states mostly in the Southeast had initiation rates in the 50’s or 60’s, with Mississippi’s ranking last at 57.5%. Exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months was led by Oregon at 38.3% with Mississippi last at 11.1% (Massachusetts was #12 at 29.6%). Breastfeeding at 12 months was led by Alaska at 52.8, with Mississippi last at 15.3% (Massachusetts was #8 at 43.0%).

 

Data was taken from the 2014 birth cohort from the National Immunization Survey released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The survey includes the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and Guam. Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, and Guam are not included in US national rates.

 

In related CDC news, the CDC highlighted the work of the Massachusetts Perinatal Collaborative as a “success story” in increasing rates of human milk in the NICU on their perinatal quality collaborative webpage.

 

Breastfeeding Initiation, 2014 Birth Cohort

Rank Highest (%) Lowest (%) Rank
1 Idaho (93.2%)

Oregon

Mississippi (57.5%) 54
2 Colorado (92.1%)

Washington

Arkansas (64.4%) 53
3 Alaska (89.3%) Louisiana (65.5%) 52
4 Massachusetts (89.5%) West Virginia (65.4%) 51
5 New Hampshire (88.4%) Alabama (66.5%) 50
US National 82.5%

 

Breastfeeding at 12 months, 2014 Birth Cohort

Rank Highest (%) Lowest (%) Rank
1 Alaska (52.8%) Mississippi (57.5%) 54
2 Vermont (46.2%) Arkansas (64.4%) 53
3 Hawaii (46.0) Louisiana (65.5%) 52
4 Oregon (45.4%) West Virginia (65.4%) 51
5 California (45.3%) Alabama (66.5%) 50
8 Massachusetts (43.0%)
US National 33.7%

 

Exclusive Breastfeeding at 3 months, 2014 Birth Cohort

Rank Highest (%) Lowest (%) Rank
1 Oregon (62.7%) Mississippi (25.2%) 54
2 Washington (60.9%) Alabama (32.7%) 53
3 Hawaii (59.6) Arkansas (33.4%) 52
4 New Hampshire (58.1%) Louisiana (34.4%) 51
5 Vermont (57.5%) Virgin Islands (35.4%) 50
15 Massachusetts (52.8%)
US National 46.6%

 

Exclusive Breastfeeding at 6 months, 2014 Birth Cohort

Rank Highest (%) Lowest (%) Rank
1 Oregon (38.3%) Mississippi (11.1%) 54
2 New Hampshire (36.2%) Alabama (13.0%) 53
3 Colorado (35.3%) Arizona (15.6%) 52
4 Idaho (33.9%) Louisiana (16.1%) 51
5 California (33.1%) Ohio (16.7%) 50
12 Massachusetts (29.6%)
US National 24.9%