There seems to be universal agreement that breastfeeding is the ideal method of feeding and nurturing infants. However, the current percentage of women in the United States who breastfeed still remains lower than the Healthy People 20001 goals of "increasing to at least 75% the proportion of mothers who breastfeed in the early postpartum period and . . . increase to at least 50% the proportion who continue breastfeeding until their babies are 5-6 months old." Although breastfeeding rates have increased slightly since 1990, the latest 1998 statistics (Mothers' Survey, Ross Products Division, Abbott Laboratories Inc, Columbus, Ohio, written communication, November 17, 1999) show that 64.3% of women initiated breastfeeding and 28.6% continue to breastfeed for 6 months.
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