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The percentage of mothers who start and continue breastfeeding is rising, a trend officials say is good for public health.

According to a report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mothers who started breastfeeding increased more than 4 percentage points from 2000 to 2008. During that same time, the number of mothers still breastfeeding at six months jumped nearly 10 percentage points, from 35 percent in 2000 to nearly 45 percent in 2008.

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