Arizona's efforts to encourage breastfeeding has helped the state, according to a report out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the Breastfeeding Report Card, 83 percent of Arizona babies begin breastfeeding and the percentage of babies breastfed exclusively until 3 months hold has climbed 10 percent in the last five years.
The national average shows 76.5 percent of babies begin breastfeeding, which has been linked to lower child obesity rates.
Of babies born in 2010, the year the survey was taken, 49.7 percent of Arizona babies were still breastfed at 6 months old, just above the national average of 49 percent.
The state encourages hospitals to take part in a Baby Steps for Breastfeeding success program, as well as offers breastfeeding peer counseling through the Arizona WIC Program. Arizona’s Breastfeeding Hot Line, (800) 833-4642, provides 24/7 support for moms, according to the state Department of Health Services.