On the Rise in California: Percentage of Newborns Breastfed in Hospital
As World Breastfeeding Week 2014 approaches, updated data from kidsdata.org suggest that the percentage of infants who were exclusively breastfed during hospitalization right after birth rose slightly between 2010 and 2012 in California, across all racial/ethnic groups.
In 2012, about 63% of California infants were exclusively breastfed in the hospital, up from 57% in 2010. At the county level, figures ranged from 28% to 90% in 2012. Compared to infants of other racial/ethnic groups, white infants continued to have the highest percentages of exclusive in-hospital breastfeeding statewide (78% in 2012).
Breastfeeding's benefits to both mother and child are well-documented, and state and national public health campaigns promote exclusive breastfeeding over formula-feeding while mother and newborn remain in the hospital.
Babies who are exclusively breastfed in the hospital after birth are more likely to receive only breast milk at home and to breastfeed for a longer period of time, studies have shown, but not all hospitals in California have adopted policies that promote exclusive breastfeeding, according to a report (PDF) by the California WIC Association and the University of California-Davis Human Lactation Center.
Read more about this topic, including policy implications>>
See Breastfeeding Data in Your Community
Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine
Breastfeeding Resource Brief, Maternal and Child Health Library at Georgetown University
Breastfeeding: American Academy of Pediatrics
Breastfeeding: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Child Trends: Breastfeeding
Kidsdata.org offers a wealth of data on child health and well-being by California state and federal legislative districts. Check out our "cheat sheet" of all indicators available by legislative district here.
Breastfeeding of Newborns, by Race/Ethnicity
Years: 2010 to 2012
Breastfeeding Status: Exclusive Breastfeeding