Breastfeeding is one of the most effective measures to protect the health of infants. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, breastfeeding protects babies from infections and illnesses, including diarrhea, ear infections and pneumonia. In addition, breastfed babies are less likely to develop asthma, and those who are breastfed for six months are less likely to become obese. Mothers also benefit from breastfeeding. Research shows that women who breastfeed have a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 77 percent of mothers initiate breastfeeding after the birth of a child. Yet, breastfeeding rates fall to 49 percent nationally after six months. Moreover, racial and ethnic groups continue to have disparate rates of breastfeeding. After giving birth, only 58 percent of African-American women initiate breastfeeding and only 28 percent continue to breastfeed after six months. Persistent barriers make it difficult for some women to initiate and continue to breastfeed. Roadblocks include a lack of workplace accommodations to breastfeed or to express breastmilk, limited experience or understanding among family and community members of how to support breastfeeding mothers, limited opportunities for breastfeeding mothers to communicate with and support each other, and limited up-to-date instruction and information on breastfeeding from health care professionals. In addition, some hospital policies make it challenging for women to initiate breastfeeding.