In Idaho, almost 75 percent of moms breastfeed their 6-month-old babies. In Mississippi, the number is just under 20 percent. Where does your state add up? Here's the full list, starting with Idaho, California and Oregon at the top of the class.
Despite low percentages in some states, the U.S. has seen an increase in breastfeeding rates since 2000. The number of moms nursing 12-month-old babies has increased from 16 percent to 27 percent. More babies are given skin-to-skin contact with mom after vaginal birth, and more babies are rooming in with mom after delivery instead of staying in a hospital nursery.
When it comes to breastfeeding, moms can't do it alone. Breastfeeding might be natural, but it isn't easy. As a society, we have to continue making it easier for moms to feed their babies. Laws now make it easier for moms to take breaks to pump at work, but we can do better. Nursing moms need family support, freedom to feed their babies anywhere and breastfeeding education to get started when it's often difficult. If you didn't nurse your baby or you didn't breastfeed for long, don't feel like this data is meant to shame you. Statistics don't tell the full story — and every mother's circumstances are unique.
Were you still breastfeeding at 6 months? What made it easier for you? What were your challenges? Share in the comments below, and tell us how your state measured up!
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