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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
November 5, 2014

Racial Disparity in Breastfeeding

JAMA. 2014;312(17):1730. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.13706

Hospitals and birth centers in US regions with a higher-than-average percentage of black residents are less likely to have breastfeeding support for new mothers than facilities in areas where the black population is lower than the national average, according to recent data.

Investigators at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) linked data from its 2011 Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care survey to US Census data to determine the percentage of black residents living in the zip code areas of 2643 facilities surveyed. Overall, more than three-quarters of the facilities offered 3 of 10 evidence-based breastfeeding practices: providing prenatal breastfeeding education, teaching breastfeeding techniques, and teaching mothers to respond to infant feeding cues (Lind JN et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014;63[33]:725-728).

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