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Research and Surveillance


Although there is a body of research on breastfeeding and some national monitoring is in place to track trends, significant knowledge gaps are evident.1,2-5 For example, more research is needed on the barriers to breastfeeding among populations with low rates of breastfeeding. Economic research is also needed on how breastfeeding affects mothers and employers, as is research on best practices for management and support of lactation and breastfeeding. Building capacity for research on breastfeeding should be a priority. Although national surveillance on breastfeeding has improved considerably in the last decade, surveillance at state and local levels is limited.

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How Research and Surveillance Can Support Breastfeeding


  1. Ip S, Chung M, Raman G, Chew P, Magula N, DeVine D, et al. Breastfeeding and maternal and infant health outcomes in developed countries: evidence report/ technology assessment no. 153. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2007. AHRQ Publication No. 07-E007.
  2. Kramer MS, Matush L, Bogdanovich N, Aboud F, Mazer B, Fombonne E, et al. Health and development outcomes in 6.5-y-old children breastfed exclusively for 3 or 6 mo. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;90:1070–1074.
  3. Kramer MS, Matush L, Vanilovich I, Platt R, Bogdanovich N, Sevkovskaya Z, et al. Promotion of Breastfeeding Intervention Trial (PROBIT) Study Group. Effect of prolonged and exclusive breast feeding on risk of allergy and asthma: cluster randomised trial. BMJ 2007;335:815.
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Breastfeeding: data and statistics. Available at breastfeeding/data/index.htm. Accessed July 8, 2010.
  5. Chapman DJ, Pérez-Escamilla R. US national breastfeeding monitoring and surveillance: current status and recommendations. J Hum Lact 2009;25:139–150.

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