Here’s some good news for the day after Mother’s Day. One delightful index of the movement away from the “feminist mother” mentality of “other-than-mother” care is the percentage of new moms who are breastfeeding. While it is possible that some women squeeze out breast milk into a bottle for the hired help to administer to their baby, the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data indicate that 77% of new mothers breastfeed their infants, which is the highest rate in the United States in at least 20 years!
The percentage of black infants who were breast-fed rose most dramatically – to 65%. Only 36% were ever breast-fed in 1993-1994, the study found. For whites, the figure rose to 79% from 62%. For Hispanics, it increased to 80%, from 67%.
The rates of breast feeding were lowest among women who were unmarried, poor, rural, younger than 20, and had a high school education or less.
Experts emphasize that breast milk is better than formula at protecting babies against disease and childhood obesity.