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The Breastfeeding Scoreboard numbers are out, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2011 shows that more women in Virginia are choosing to breastfeed their babies.

Here is the rate: women initiating breastfeeding has increased to 79.1 percent in 2008 from 75.3 percent in 2007.  These rates exceed the national rate 74.6 percent, and exceed the goal of Healthy People 2010.

How long should mothers breastfeed their babies? While the breastfeeding rates are increasing but still a few mothers are breastfeeding beyond 6 months. The rate of women breastfeeding at 6 months dropped from 44.2 percent to 40.8 percent. Health Commissioner Dr. Karen Remley says ‘Public Health, together with our partners in business, healthcare and the community, is focusing on ways to make sure that women who start breastfeeding in the hospital have the needed support to do so, if they wish, until their babies are a year old.”

“Breastfeeding is good for mothers and their babies, Not only does it improve the overall health of the both the mother and child, it reduces the chances that the baby will be obese in childhood and it has a direct impact on lowering the rates of infant mortality,” says Virginia’s Health Commissioner Karen Remley, MD, MBA, FAAP.

From the Virginia Department of Health: www.vdh.virginia.gov/news/PressReleases/2011/080511BreastFeeding.htm

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