The state of Michigan has surpassed a federal goal for the percentage of infants who have been breastfed. However, there are specific demographic groups that need to step up according to findings by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services first state Breastfeeding Plan.
“Increasing rates of breastfeeding initiation and duration are necessary steps in reducing infant mortality and cutting the rising costs of health care,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS Chief Medical Executive. “Our first breastfeeding State Plan sets goals for the state to meet to keep Michigan babies healthier.”
A high number of mothers in Michigan have reported breastfeeding their infant at least once, over 84%. That number actually exceeds the "Healthy People 2020" goal which is set at 81.9%. Healthy People 2020 is a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services project that provides national objectives for improving the health of all Americans.
The disparities occur when you look at when mothers start breastfeeding and if they stick with it, especially with black and teen mothers.
For example, 86.3% of white, non-Hispanic mothers in Michigan start breastfeeding, compared to 77.3% of black non-Hispanic mothers.
Also, for women age 30 or older, 65% breastfeed their infants up to 3 months old, compared to only 26 percent of teen mothers.