This week I've been working through some continuing education training on breastfeeding and I came across the CDC Breastfeeding Report Card. I was curious to see how my state compared to the rest of the US and I found some interesting statistics.
Breastfeeding at Birth - 74.9%
Breastfeeding at 6 months - 40.7%
Breastfeeding at 1 year - 20.9%
Breastfeeding at birth - 79.2%
Breastfeeding at 6 months - 49.4%
Breastfeeding at 1 year - 26.7%
As you can see, we are a little bit behind the average.
However, even the national average is behind the 2020 Healthy People Goal.
Breastfeeding at birth - 81.9%
Breastfeeding at 6 months - 60.6%
Breastfeeding at 1 year - 34.1%
But, why is increasing breastfeeding so important? A new study in the Lancet Medical Journal shows that breastfeeding could save over 800,000 lives and add over $3 million into the global economy. They concluded that breastfeeding is the healthiest start.
There's still a lot of work to do both here in TN and on a national scale.
One way to increase breastfeeding rates is by having the encouragement and support of a doula. One study found that women using community doulas (even in low income areas) had an 87% success rate with breastfeeding.