School of Public Health


Breastfeeding Rates  in Region X
Population Ever Breastfed Breastfeeding at 6 months Breastfeeding Exclusively at 6 months
Alaska 90% 62.8% 27.8%
Idaho 92.9% 65.4% 28.1%
Oregon 92.5% 68.2% 30.6%
Washington 87.4% 63.7% 28%
NATIONAL 81.1% 51.8% 22.3%
Source: CDC's 2016 Breastfeeding Report Card

About Vol. 32: Breastfeeding

Our spring and summer content for the Northwest Bulletin: Family and Child Health will explore topics that surround breastfeeding initiation and duration including interventions, innovations, health equity issues, and policy. Breastfeeding tied with the Well-Woman Visit as the most popular National Performance Measure (NPM)* among maternal and child health programs. Three of the four states in Region X chose breastfeeding as a five-year state priority. Unlike many of the NPMs, the breastfeeding measure is broken into two parts: A) the number of infants who were ever breastfed and B) the number of infants breastfed exclusively through 6 months.


In Part I, we examine a large-scale intervention to promote breastfeeding and the dispute over its efficacy that played out across journals and medical blogs. We look at Washington state's community-based response to this international program and how Alaska - the one Region X state that didn't choose the breastfeeding NPM - supports breastfeeding mothers in the workplace.


Our second round of content highlights the emotional support needed for successful breastfeeding. We look closely at community-based doulas as a holistic, culturally competent breastfeeding intervention, the steps Idaho will take to unite the voices and ideas of breastfeeding advocates, and a mother of four describes how even the smallest actions can influence breastfeeding behaviors 


We conclude our cumulative volume on ‘Breastfeeding’ with voices that urge us to change and expand the support we provide women. We review ways to improve the federal workplace lactation policy,  look at four areas that could reduce maternal shame and improve breastfeeding rates, and discover how Oregon will ensure women have access to more professionally trained lacation support. We highlight a small program that serves African American women and has operationalized many of the Surgeon General's strategies for breastfeeding promotion.

Our webinar features breastfeeding advocate Camie Goldhammer, MSW, LICSW, IBCLC, who discusses disparities and breastfeeding promotion strategies in Native American communities.

​Our Breastfeeding Resources have been updated to include links to national and local advocacy and health equity groups in addition to the policy and data links.

When you subscribe to the Northwest Bulletin you will receive an email each time we add new content (approximately every 6-8 weeks). We publish three issues per volume and each volume is devoted to a different topic within maternal and child health. Our next volume, out this fall, will look at issues surrounding adolescent health.

*What are the National Performance Measures (NPMs)? The Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) developed this set of metrics to monitor key health indicators in the populations of the 59 states and jurisdictions that receive Title V MCH Block Grant funds. These measures are just one part of a larger effort to support state-wide improvement activities. You can read more about the history of the NPMs and the MCH Block Grant in our Spring 2015 issue or on the MCHB website.