Breast-feeding at an all time high

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According to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, new moms who do not breast-feed are now in the minority. The report released yesterday reveals that 77 percent of newborn babies are breast-fed, at least for a little while. This is up from 60% for the period 1993-1994.

The numbers are based on in-person interviews and physical examinations of 434 mothers and infants during 2005 and 2006. Breaking down the numbers by race, the most significant rise in breast-feeding rates were found in black mothers, who historically have had lower than average numbers. During that 1993-1994 period, only 36 percent of African-American babies were breast-fed. That number has now risen to 65 percent.

"It was very impressive that when it comes to beginning to breast-feed, African-American women have had the greatest progress," says U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher.

For Mexican-American mothers, 80 percent now report breast-feeding their babies - up from 67 percent. For white moms, the numbers rose from 62 percent to 79 percent. The lowest rates for breast-feeding were found in unmarried, poor, rural and young mothers under 20 who have a high school education or less.

Experts attribute the rising numbers of breast-feeding moms to education campaigns and a changing culture that is more accepting and accommodating of nursing mothers.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.