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Health Indicator Report of Breastfeeding in Early Postpartum Period

Breastfeeding provides a variety of important benefits for infants, mothers, families, society, and environment. It is the normal, preferred feeding for all infants, including premature and sick babies, with rare exceptions (American Academy of Pediatrics, 1997). Breast milk benefits the newborn infant by providing the ideal balance of nutrients, enzymes, immunoglobulin, anti-infective and anti-inflammatory substances, hormones, and growth factors. Breastfeeding helps the mother return to the physiologic pre-pregnant state. It benefits both mother and child by providing a time of intense, nurturing, maternal-infant interaction. In addition, breastfeeding provides social and economic benefits to the family, including reduced health care costs and reduced employee absenteeism for care related to children's illnesses.

Percentage of Mothers Who Initiated Breastfeeding by County, New Mexico 1997-2010


The following county estimates were combined due to small number of surveys: Colfax & Union; Catron & Sierra; De Baca & Harding & Quay; Guadelupe & San Miguel.   U.S. value is 2008 median value for 29 participating states. Question wording: Did you ever breastfeed or pump breast milk to feed your new baby after delivery? How many weeks or months did you breastfeed or pump milk to feed your baby? How old was your new baby the first time you fed him or her anything besides breast milk?

Data Source

New Mexico Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, Family Health Bureau, New Mexico Department of Health.


The percentage of mothers who ever breastfed and were breastfeeding exclusively at two months.


The number of PRAMS survey respondents who indicated they were breastfeeding at each of the two time periods.


The total number of women in the PRAMS survey sample.

Healthy People Objective: MICH-21.4, Increase the proportion of infants who are breastfed: Exclusively through 3 months

U.S. Target: 46.2 percent

What Is Being Done?

The New Mexico Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program WIC supports over 70% of NM women giving live birth, either prenatally or postpartum and promotes and supports breastfeeding. WIC Breastfeeding Promotion activities include: training of professional and paraprofessional staff, providing grants to local agencies for "Peer Counseling Programs," providing hand pumps and electric pumps to WIC mothers, and developing written policies for WIC clinics that promote breastfeeding. State and Federal laws protect pumping of breast milk in the workplace: USE OF A BREAST PUMP IN THE WORKPLACE: NMSA 1978, Section 28-20-2 (amended 2007) requires employers to provide flexible break time, and a clean, private space, not a bathroom, in order to foster the ability of a nursing mother who is an employee to use a breast pump in the workplace.
Page Content Updated On 05/25/2012, Published on 06/14/2012
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Sun, 28 November 2021 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Fri, 5 Sep 2014 13:06:56 MDT