Racial and ethnic differences in breastfeeding initiation and duration, by state - National Immunization Survey, United States, 2004-2008

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2010 Mar 26;59(11):327-34.


The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding to age 6 months and continued breastfeeding for at least the first year of life. The Healthy People 2010 (HP2010) targets (16-19a-c) for initiating breastfeeding, breastfeeding to age 6 months, and breastfeeding to age 12 months, are 75%, 50%, and 25%, respectively. National estimates from the United States indicate substantial racial/ethnic differences in breastfeeding. To monitor state-specific progress toward achieving the HP2010 objectives for breastfeeding initiation and duration among different racial/ethnic groups, CDC analyzed 2004-2008 National Immunization Survey (NIS) data for children born during 2003-2006. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which found that non-Hispanic blacks had a lower prevalence of breastfeeding initiation than non-Hispanic whites in all but two states; Hispanics generally had lower prevalence than non-Hispanic whites in western states and higher in eastern states. Most states were not meeting the HP2010 targets for breastfeeding duration for any racial/ethnic group. Breastfeeding should be promoted through comprehensive clinical and social supports starting in pregnancy, and including the birth, delivery, and postpartum periods.

MeSH terms

  • African Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Breast Feeding / ethnology*
  • Breast Feeding / statistics & numerical data
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Healthy People Programs
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Prevalence
  • United States / epidemiology