A study released this week creates a snapshot of breastfeeding across Los Angeles County. It shows that rates of breastfeeding vary widely by race and by region.
The report by Breastfeed LA, a training and advocacy organization, examines how breastfeeding is tied to food access, maternity leave and cultural attitudes. It shows that almost every birthing hospital in the county, infants of color are less likely than white infants to be exclusively breastfed before they go home.
New mothers are encouraged to breastfeed their babies exclusively for six months. The study found that rates of exclusive breastfeeding at just three months were lowest in South LA and highest in West LA.
Breastfeeding is one of the many strategies public health officials look to to bring down infant mortality rates.