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Moms in Western U.S. States Breastfeed More

The CDC just released its 2010 Breastfeeding Report Card, which tracks breastfeeding rates in each state. They track breastfeeding initiation, any breastfeeding at 6 and 12 months, and exclusive breastfeeding at 3 and 6 months.

Below is a chart showing any breastfeeding at 6 months. The U.S. average is 43%, and ranges from 22.5% in Mississippi to 62% in Oregon. Utah wins the 'any breastfeeding' contest, with just shy of 90% of babies having been breastfed (the national average is 75%). You can see the full list of states here.

Year after year the western states out breastfeed other parts of the country. Rates tend to be highest in the West (and sometimes the Northeast) and lowest in the South, with the East and Midwest somewhere in between.

I have my theories about why this is, but I'd love to hear yours. Do you live in the South, the West?  Can you explain why your state's rates are high or low?

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