Breastfeeding rates are continuing to rise, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About 77 percent of American women started off breastfeeding their infants in 2010, up from 71 percent a decade earlier. Half were still doing it by the time their babies were six months old, up from one-third in 2000. Breastfeeding has many benefits for children (such as lower risk of ear and gastrointestinal infections and, later on, diabetes, asthma and obesity) and for mothers (reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancers). The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months and advises continued nursing for a year.