10 Best States for Breastfeeding Moms: Is Yours on the List?

Suzee Skwiot | Jul 7, 2014 Baby

breastfeedingThe first few months of a newborn's life are critical in establishing breastfeeding practices. And there's some good news out there according to a new "breastfeeding map of America." Some 77 percent of U.S. infants begin breastfeeding!

Now for the bad news: the number of mothers who are still breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months -- the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics -- drops significantly. So where do moms have the best chance of making it to that six-month mark? Where do they have the lowest chance? Using data from the CDC, the map shows us where moms are faring well at nursing ... and where they're not.

woman breastfeeding

There are much higher rates of breastfeeding on the West Coast, while the South experiences especially low percentages.

Of course, there are several different indicators that influence whether or not a mother breastfeeds. Between income, birth facility support, skin-to-skin contact, mother-to-mother support, professional support, and child care settings, mothers in different states have various challenges to breastfeeding. All determine just how successful they'll be six months down the road.

Check out the 10 best states -- and the 10 worst -- below.

Where does your state fall in the rankings? Did you meet or exceed your state's guidelines?

Images via Raphael Goetter/Flickr; Image ©iStock.com/CEFutcher