Breast-feeding rates are continuing to increase, according to a new report from the CDC. In 2010, 77% of U.S. infants began breast-feeding, up from 71% in 2000. During the same period, the rate of infants breast-feeding at 6 months increased from 35% to 49%, and at 12 months from 16% to 27%. "This is great news for the health of our nation because babies who are breast-fed have lower risks of ear and gastrointestinal infections, diabetes and obesity, and mothers who breast-feed have lower risks of breast and ovarian cancers," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a statement. The report also shows national progress in hospital practices that support breast-feeding. From 2007 to 2011, the percent of facilities with at least 90% of babies receiving skin-to-skin contact after vaginal birth increased from 41% to 54%. Additionally, the percent of hospitals with at least 90% of mothers and babies staying together in the same room throughout their stay increased from 31% to 37%. Read the CDC's 2013 Breastfeeding Report Card.
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