For the past 21 years, the first week in August has been known as World Breastfeeding Week. Maryland, recognizing the importance of breast-feeding for both personal and public health, has annually expanded this to declare August Maryland Breastfeeding Month. Breast-feeding rates have increased significantly across the country over the last four decades, following many years of promotion of formula by both health professionals and formula companies. In 1976, only 36 percent of moms initiated breast-feeding, and only 14 percent were still breast-feeding at 6 months. Data released this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 76.5 percent of mothers nationally are initiating breast-feeding (69.4 percent in Maryland), 49 percent are still breast-feeding by 6 months (52 percent in Maryland), and 16.4 percent make it to 12 months (15.1 percent in Maryland).