Breastfeeding has many known health benefits for infants, children, and mothers and is a key strategy to improve public health. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants are exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months with continued breastfeeding while introducing complementary foods for at least 1 year.
- Most infants born in 2017 started breastfeeding (84.1%); 58.3% of infants were breastfeeding at 6 months.
- The percentage of breastfed infants supplemented with infant formula before 2 days of age was 19.2% among infants born in 2017, an increase from 16.9% in 2016.
Comprehensive hospital practices and policies that support breastfeeding have been shown to reduce disparities in breastfeeding and help give infants the best start in life.1
Lactation support from healthcare professionals can be incorporated into telemedicine sessions that break down the basics of early infant feeding.