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Breastfeeding in the U.S.: New National Data, Federal Priorities, & Lessons from the Field

Wednesday May 11, 2005, 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET

Overview | Presenter Information | Agenda | Resources | Archive


The benefits of breastfeeding are numerous. According to the HHS Blueprint for Action on Breastfeeding released by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2000, breastfeeding not only improves resistance to infectious and chronic diseases among infants, it promotes infants’ physical and cognitive development, maternal health, and offers socioeconomic benefits to families and communities. Despite these benefits, the United States has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the developed world. While most new mothers initiate breastfeeding, more than one half discontinue by six months and only 13.3 percent of children are exclusively breastfed at six months.

This DataSpeak program will feature a representative from the National Center for Health Statistics, who will present new national breastfeeding data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth, and a conversation with senior officials from the Office on Women’s Health and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau about Federal breastfeeding priorities and initiatives. The program also will include a discussion with a representative of the Maternity Care Coalition in Philadelphia about lessons learned in planning and implementing breastfeeding programs at the local level. An opportunity to pose questions to presenters will also be included.