In 2013, 54% of U.S. hospitals used most of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding recommended by the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a nearly two-fold increase since 2007, according to a report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than nine in 10 hospitals provided prenatal breastfeeding education or teach breastfeeding techniques, and nearly seven in 10 initiate breastfeeding early, based on the CDC’s Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care survey. However, fewer than half of hospitals kept mothers and babies together throughout the hospital stay; ensured that only breast milk was given to healthy breastfeeding infants who did not need infant formula for a medical reason; or provided post discharge breastfeeding support, the survey found. “Breastfeeding is best for mothers and babies,” said Constance Howes, executive vice president for women's health at Care New England and a member of the AHA Board of Trustees. “Hospitals work with new moms to encourage and support breastfeeding if the mother chooses to do so. It is important that mothers also have the support from community partners to continue their breastfeeding journey after they leave the hospital.”