Fewer Moms Breastfeeding In Arizona

By  Stina Sieg
July 31, 2014

The percentage of moms who breastfeed their babies has dipped slightly in Arizona, but is still above the national average. Around 82 percent of Arizona babies are being breastfed at some point in their infancy. But that’s still two percentage points lower than last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s Annual Breastfeeding Report Card.

Anne Whitmire is the manager of the Arizona Health Service’s Breastfeeding Program, which encourages mothers to breastfeed for a whole year, even though most don’t.

Whitmire thinks one of the keys is “setting small goals, instead of the large goal."

“And clearly we’re working as programs toward that large goal," Whitmire said. "But we have to get a day, to get to a week, to get to a month, to get to a year.”

Nursing mothers also need support from their community, she said, including family, friends and employers. She said breastfeeding babies are at a lower risk for allergies, diabetes and SIDS. Breastfeeding moms have stronger bones and less of a risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer.