Breastfeeding on the rise, says CDC

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The trend extended across racial groups, the CDC found, narrowing persistent gaps in breastfeeding between white and minority women.

But officials warned that many mothers still need help to continue nursing. Roughly one in four mothers still breastfeeds at 12 months, the CDC said. 

The federal government funds programs to increase support for breastfeeding at hospitals serving minority and low-income patients. The Affordable Care Act also mandated that insurance companies cover breast pumps and lactation help without cost-sharing.

Recommendations vary on the optimal amount of time to nurse. The American Academy of Pediatrics says at least one year, while the World Health Organization says two years or more. Both figures are cited by the CDC.