Increasing breastfeeding rates in the United States is a national health goal that’s part of the Healthy People 2010 initiative. The goal is to have 75 percent of mothers breastfeed their babies initially, 50 percent after six months and 25 percent after one year.
For comparison’s sake, not even a decade ago in 2005 while over 74 percent of infants born were breastfed initially, just 43 percent were still breastfeeding at 6 months and 21 percent at 1 year. Further, only 32 percent were breastfed exclusively through three months of age and 12 percent through 6 months — despite the fact that many health organizations recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, including:
- The American Academy of Pediatrics
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- The American Academy of Family Physicians
- The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine
- The World Health Organization
- The United Nations Children’s Fund
In fact, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, continuing as long as mother and baby wish, while the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or longer.