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

Suzee Skwiot | Jul 7, 2014 Baby
10 Best States for Breastfeeding Moms: Is Yours on the List?

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

  • 1. Best -- California

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    Image via Hakan Dahlstrom/Flickr

    According to the report, 27.4 percent of moms in California exclusively breastfeed at six months.

  • 2. Best -- Idaho

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    Image via J. Stephen Conn/Flickr

    Idaho reports that 27.0 percent of moms exclusively breastfeed at six months.

  • 3. Best -- Alaska

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    Image via Steve Wall/Flickr

    Alaska shows that 26.8 percent of moms exclusively breastfeed at six months.

  • 4. Best -- South Dakota

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    Image via Keith Ewing/Flickr

    South Dakota moms report show that 26.3 percent exclusively breastfeed at six months.

  • 5. Best -- Vermont

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    Image via J. Stephen Conn/Flickr

    Just over a quarter (25.9 percent) of Vermont moms breastfeed exclusively at six months.

     

  • 6. Best -- New Hampshire

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    Image via Stephen Bugno/Flickr

    New Hampshire has 24.9 percent of moms exclusively breastfeeding at six months.

  • 7. Best -- Wyoming

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    Image via Noe Alfaro/Flickr

    Tied with New Hampshire, 24.9 percent of moms in Wyoming exclusively breastfeed at six months.

  • 8. Best -- Colorado

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    Image via Melissa/Flickr

    Colorado has 24.7 percent mom exclusively breastfeeding at six months.

  • 9. Best -- Oregon

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    Image via Bill Reynolds/Flickr

    Next, 23.9 percent of moms in Oregon report breastfeeding exclusively at six months.

  • 10. Best -- Minnesota

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    Image via J. Stephen Conn/Flickr

    Minnesota has 23.5 percent of moms who exclusively breastfeed at six months.

    And now for the 10 worst states for breastfeeding moms, from better to worst.

  • 10. Worst -- Alabama

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    Image via Ross Day/Flickr

    Only 11.9 percent of moms in Alabama report exclusively breastfeeding at six months.

  • 9. Worst -- Illinois

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    Image via Anh Dinh/Flickr

    Illinois shows 11.1 percent of moms exclusively breastfeed at six months.

  • 8. Worst -- New Jersey

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    Image via Jackie/Flickr

    In New Jersey, 10.9 percent of moms exclusively breastfeed at six months.

  • 7. Worst -- Louisiana

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    Image via Wally Gobetz/Flickr

    Louisiana reports that 10.7 percent of its moms exclusively breastfeed at six months.

  • 6. Worst -- Florida

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    Image via Daniel Piraino/Flickr

    The map shows that 10.6 percent of Florida moms exclusively breastfeed at six months.

  • 5. Worst -- Arkansas

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    Image via Thomas Hawk/Flickr

    Less than one-tenth (9.2 percent,to be exact) of moms in Arkansas exclusively breastfeed at six months.

  • 4. Worst -- West Virginia

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    Image via Noe Alfaro/Flickr

    West Virginia only has 9.1 percent of moms exclusively breastfeeding at six months.

  • 3. Worst -- Georgia

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    Image via Mr.TinDC/Flickr

    Only 6.2 percent of moms in Georgia exclusively breastfeed at six months.

  • 2. Worst -- Mississippi

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    Image via Steven Martin/Flickr

    About one in twenty, or 5.1 percent of moms in Mississippi exclusively breastfeed at six months.

  • 1. Worst -- Tennessee

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    Image via Brent Moore/Flickr

    Finally, Tennessee reports that 4.1 percent of moms exclusively breastfeed at six months.

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