To the Editor.—

The 2002 National Immunization Survey (NIS) provides important information on rates of breastfeeding, including exclusive breastfeeding in the United States. Another instrument, the Ross Laboratories Mothers Survey (RMS), is a long-standing survey that has been the basis for most of the national breastfeeding statistics cited over the years. Although both surveys provide information on national breastfeeding rates, there are a number of key differences of which readers should be aware that make direct comparisons between the 2 surveys very difficult.

First, confusion may arise concerning the year of the NIS survey versus the years represented by the breastfeeding data reported. The NIS provided breastfeeding data that were collected over a 3-year period, from February 1999 to June 2001, because the NIS breastfeeding data were collected retrospectively, when children were 19 to 35 months of age. Thus, none of the 2002 NIS data actually reflected breastfeeding...

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