Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant’s life has significant health benefits for both mother and child. Breastfeeding helps prevent obesity and diabetes in children, and puts mothers at lower risk for breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. While Vermont has high rates of initiation (89.3% in 2015), breastfeeding is sustained at a much lower rate (38.0%) [1]. Disparities in breastfeeding persist by education, marital status, age, and WIC participation. Vermont continues to work to reduce barriers to breastfeeding and support the needs of all parents to engage in behaviors that work toward the optimal health, development, and well-being of their children.

Additional information about these efforts can be found in the Breastfeeding Strategic Plan, the State Health Improvement Plan and in the Division of Maternal and Child Health’s Strategic Plan.

Return to the Table of Contents for the 2019 How Are Vermont’s Young Children and Families? report.

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2018). Breastfeeding Report Card.