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Keywords

Breast Feeding, Infant Nutrition, Lactation

 

Authors

  1. Hill, Pamela D. PhD, RN

Abstract

Increasing the rates of both initiation of breastfeeding and duration of breastfeeding are national health objectives. In the United States, the actual in-hospital breastfeeding initiation rate is 64%, and duration rate (at 6 months postpartum) is 29%. These percentages fall short of the Healthy People 2010 goal for breastfeeding, which states that we should increase the proportion of mothers who initiate breastfeeding to at least 75%, and increase the proportion of mothers who continue to breastfeed until their infant is 6 months old to at least 50%. Factors influencing breastfeeding such as sociodemographics, maternal attitudes toward breastfeeding, influence of significant others, and the workplace environment are examined. Approaches to increasing the initiation and prolonging the duration of breastfeeding are discussed.