About 77% of new mothers breast-feed, the highest percentage since the CDC began taking surveys 20 years ago. The agency cites public-awareness campaigns about its health benefits for the rise, noting that only 60% of mothers breast-fed in 1994, the AP reports. Changing cultural attitudes that accommodate the practice also might be responsible, a CDC spokesman said. "It looks like an all-time high."
Breast-feeding in African-American mothers rose to 65% from 36% in 1994, the largest increase of any ethnic group. "It is very impressive that when it comes to beginning to breast-feed, African-American women had the greatest progress," said former US Surgeon General David Satcher, noting that African-Americans have historically low breast-feeding rates.