Only 46.9% of the four million babies born in the United States, in 2015, were exclusively breastfed up to three months of age, when it is recommended for about 6 months of life, health authorities reported today.
In fact, the study released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suggests that, while 83.2% of babies began breastfeeding," many stopped being breastfed earlier than recommended".
The CDC's "Breastfeeding Report 2018" highlights the importance and benefits of exclusively breastfeeding the newborn during its first six months of life.
But while 57.6% of babies are still breastfed at six months of age, only 1 in 4 is breastfed exclusively, the study says.
However, Ruth Petersen, director of the CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, showed satisfaction with the fact that "most American babies start with breastfeeding and more than half continue to be breastfed at six months", even if not exclusively.
The report also highlights that only 35.9% of newborns are breastfed at 12 months and 49% of employers offer workplace breastfeeding support programs.
The benefits provided by breastfeeding, both for the woman and the newborn include the reduction of risks of asthma, obesity, type 2 diabetes, respiratory and ear infections and Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Also, according to the report, mother who breastfeed "can lower risks of developing high blood pressure and breast and ovarian cancer".
CDC scientists and researchers analyzed data on breastfeeding practices in 50 US states: the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the US Virgin Islands.
The CDC recommendations to support mothers include measures to "encourage hospitals and health personnel" to use tools that implement breastfeeding, "such as" helping moms have access to lactation consultants".
"All sectors of society, from family to hospitals, offices, hospitals, organizations and workplaces can play a role in improving the health of families by supporting breastfeeding," she said.