Between 2010-2014, Latino and black newborns in California experienced large increases in being exclusively fed breast milk during hospitalization after birth, according to the latest data available on kidsdata.org.
During this time period, Latino newborns saw a 28 percent jump in exclusive breastfeeding. Yet, at 62 percent, the breastfeeding rate for Latino newborns is still below the statewide average of 67 percent. Black babies saw a 22 percent jump, reaching 56 percent in 2014. At 80 percent, white infants continue to have the highest percentages of exclusive breastfeeding in the hospital.
Breast milk is widely acknowledged as the most complete form of nutrition for infants, with a range of benefits for infant health, growth, and development. Infants who are breastfed receive protection from serious health conditions, including respiratory, ear, and gastrointestinal tract infections, allergies, diabetes, and obesity.
Increasing the proportion of children who are breastfed for at least the first year of life—as well as the percentage who are breastfed exclusively for the first six months—are important public health goals. In fact, the California Department of Public Health has a statewide goal to make breastfeeding the normal method of infant feeding for at least the first year of life.
Breastfeeding Among Minority Women: Moving from Risk Factors to Interventions, Advances in Nutrition
Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding Medicine
Racial Disparities in Access to Maternity Care Practices That Support Breastfeeding—United States, 2011, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
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Posted by kidsdata.org