Childhood obesity is an epidemic. In the US, 1 preschooler in 5 is at least overweight, and half of these are obese. Breastfeeding helps protect against childhood obesity. A baby's risk of becoming an overweight child goes down with each month of breastfeeding. In the US, most babies start breastfeeding, but within the first week, half have already been given formula, and by 9 months, only 31% of babies are breastfeeding at all. Hospitals can either help or hinder mothers and babies as they begin to breastfeed.
US CDC’s Breastfeeding Report Card shows that Maine ranked third in the nation for percent of live births occurring at baby-friendly facilities and tied for third in the nation for State Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care scores from birthing facilities.