Last month, AHRQ released the results of its systematic review of breastfeeding programs and policies, which concludes that the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is associated with improved rates of breastfeeding initiation and duration.
This month, the Baby-Friendly affirmations continue with the CDC’s release of its 2018 Breastfeeding Report Card.
To understand how much progress has been made recently in the spread of Baby-Friendly practices across the United States, all one needs to do is compare the following two maps:
The first map is from the CDC’s 2011 Breastfeeding Report Card. The second map is from the CDC’s 2018 Breastfeeding Report Card. A lot has changed in the past seven years!
- Only two states were above 20% Baby-Friendly penetration.
- 20 states had NO Baby-Friendly facilities.
- All southern states were at 0% except for Texas and Florida.
- 12 states are above 40% Baby-Friendly penetration.
- Only seven states are below 10%.
- The southern states are ALL colored in, largely due to regional collaborative efforts such as CHAMPS, EMPower, and Best Fed Beginnings, which have targeted mostly southern states as one way to help address racial disparities in breastfeeding rates.
(See related stories, Changing the Breastfeeding Culture in Louisiana and Changing Lives in Rural Mississippi.)
Earlier this summer, Baby-Friendly USA announced that more than 1 million babies are now born each year in Baby-Friendly designated facilities in the US. That is more than 1 out of every 4 babies born in this country each year, and more than the total number of babies born each year in many other major countries – including Argentina, Australia, Germany, Italy, France, and Saudi Arabia.
BFUSA is pleased with this progress and grateful for the many, many people and organizations that have made it possible. Yet, we know there is still much to do to ensure ALL mothers and babies spend their precious first days together in an environment that upholds the highest standards of infant feeding care.