New and continuing research indicates the importance of breastfeeding for the health of both mother and child. Lack of breastfeeding and early formula feeding contribute to the rising rates of overweight and obese children, and chronic diseases in children and adolescents, including asthma and diabetes. In 2013, the percentage of mothers who breastfed or intended to breastfeed at the time of discharge reached a record high of 84.6%, a 2% increase from 2012; the increase was driven by a 3% increase among White mothers (84.1% vs. 81.6%). This proportion was highest among Asian mothers (88.7%) and Black mothers (86.5%) and lowest among White mothers (84.1%) and Hispanic mothers (83.2%). There is great variation in the percentage of mothers who breastfed or intended to breastfeed by education. In 2013, as in previous years, this proportion was highest among mothers with post-graduate and college educational attainment (94.5% and 92.0%, respectively) and was lowest among mothers who did not complete high school (71.4%).

Nutrition Web Sites

Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition

Visit www.massbfc.org for breastfeeding information, patient materials, clinical guidelines and an on-line Breastfeeding Resource Guide, including local breastfeeding support programs.


This information is provided by the Early Interventions Partnerships Program within the Department of Public Health.