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EmpowHer's Health Tip: U.S. Breast-Feeding Rate Hits 20-Year High

More than three-quarters of new mothers (77 percent) are breast-feeding their infants, the highest rate in at least 20 years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in report issued Wednesday.

Experts cited by the Associated Press attributed the rise to public education campaigns stressing that breast milk better protects infants against disease and childhood obesity than formula.

The percentage of black infants who are breast-fed rose most, to 65 percent from 36 percent in 1993-1994, the report said. Among whites, the rate rose to 79 percent from 62 percent, and among Mexican-Americans, the figure rose to 80 percent from 67 percent, the wire service said.

Breast-feeding rates were lowest among women who weren't married, were poor, rural, younger than 20, and had no greater than a high school education.