Hospitals Need to Increase Support of Breastfeeding Moms: CDC
Only 3.5 percent ofِ hospitals inِ the U.S.
areِ providing theِ full range ofِ support measures thatِ mothers needِ to breastfeed, a newِ report fromِ the Centers forِ Disease Control andِ Prevention (CDC) says.
Such measures include practices thatِ manyِ hospitals haveِ alreadyِ enacted, suchِ asِ teaching breastfeeding techniques andِ explaining toِ newِ moms howِ to determine whenِ a baby wantsِ toِ feed, butِ alsoِ practices thatِ fewِ hospitals areِ doing, suchِ asِ limiting theِ use ofِ formula inِ the hospital andِ following upِ with mothers afterِ they areِ discharged, theِ report said.
The American Academy ofِ Pediatrics recommends moms exclusively breastfeed (meaning a baby isِ givenِ no formula, solids orِ other liquids otherِ than vitamin supplements orِ medications) forِ aboutِ the firstِ six months ofِ infancy, andِ continue breastfeeding, alongِ with introducing iron-rich foods, forِ atِ least theِ firstِ year.
Although aboutِ 80 percent ofِ U.S.
In 1991, theِ World Health Organization andِ United Nations Children’s Fund developed theِ Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, whichِ outlines 10 steps thatِ hospitals shouldِ take toِ support breastfeeding.
The costs of not breastfeeding
Suboptimal breastfeeding practices inِ the United States annually results inِ anِ estimated $2.2 billion inِ additional direct medical costs, theِ report said.
Babies whoِ areِ fed formula andِ stop breastfeeding early haveِ higher rates ofِ obesity, diabetes andِ respiratory andِ ear infections, andِ tend toِ require moreِ doctor visits, hospitalizations andِ prescriptions, theِ CDC said.
The Northeast hadِ the highest rate ofِ hospitals complying withِ theِ 10 recommended practices.