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Break out the nursing bras! More moms are saying yes to the breast.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the number of women breastfeeding their babies increased from 70.3 percent to 74.6 percent between 2000 and 2008, while rates for women who breast-fed for six months rose from 34.5 percent to 44.4 percent, and breastfeeding for 12 months grew from 16 percent to 23.4 percent.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends "exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced, with continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant."
According to the CDC's report, black, white and Hispanic women all saw increases in breastfeeding, although, "despite increases in the prevalence of breastfeeding, fewer than half of the infants in the survey were still breastfeeding at 6 months, indicating that women who choose to breastfeed their infants need support to continue breastfeeding."
So what keeps women from breastfeeding longer? The report notes that women who don't breastfeed as much are often younger, have lower incomes, less maternal education and are not married.
"All breastfeeding women need support, but specific interventions might be needed among populations with lower breastfeeding prevalence," the report notes.
Click here to read the full report.