CDC: Three-Quarters Of New Moms Breast-Feed Infants

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Federal health officials say the number of American babies being breast-fed has hit a 20-year high.

A new report says 77 percent of new mothers breast-feed their babies, at least briefly. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokesman says the number may even be an "all-time high," based on surveys since the mid-1980s.

Most dramatic was the rise in African-American infants being breast-fed, which reached 65 percent. Only about 36 percent were reportedly breast-fed in the mid-1990s.

Experts credit the increase to education campaigns showing that breast milk protects babies against disease and childhood obesity. A changing culture that aids nursing mothers may also be a factor.

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