Health officials say breast-feeding rates continue to inch up: Now more than 3 in 4 mothers try to breast-feed their newborns.
Breast-feeding rates remain highest in Idaho (91.8 percent) and lowest in Mississippi (50.5 percent). Experts attribute that to regional differences in culture and workplace policies that support breast-feeding.
Wednesday's report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that nationally, 77 percent of moms tried breast-feeding in 2010. A decade earlier that figure was 71 percent. The percent still breast-feeding a year later rose to 27 percent from 16 percent in 2000.
The report comes from a national telephone survey of more than 8,000 parents and caretakers of small children.
Experts say breast milk contains antibodies that protect newborns from infections, and breast-fed babies are less likely to become overweight.