Moms are encouraged to breastfeed their babies by more and more hospitals. Their intention is to keep the little babies healthier. However, officials claim more efforts are needed in this matter.
The number of US hospitals following the rules from the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding increased twice as much between 2007 and 2013. These statistics were made by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Ten Steps” represents an international program which helps hospital support breastfeeding. In the last 6 years, the number of hospitals encouraging breastfeeding increased from 29% to 54%, according to the CDC.
Tom Frieden, CDC’s chairman, stated that the way the medical stuff approaches a mom in the next couple of hours or days since she gave birth to her child can strongly influence the way she chooses to feed her child in the future.
Frieden also states that breastfeeding is good not only for the baby’s health, but also for the mom’s health and that more progress is still needed.
4 million babies are born each year in the US. Only 14% of them are born in hospitals that encourage breastfeeding.
Moreover, hospitals that adopted the “Ten Steps” need to make sure they follow all of them. According to some statistics, 9 out of 10 hospitals put at least two steps into practice.
The American Academy of Pediatrics states that a newborn should receive only breast milk in his or her first 6 months of life and then, although the food diversifies, the child should be given breast milk until he or she is 1 year old.
Babies who don’t receive breast milk are subject to all sort of disease, such as obesity, diabetes and infant death. As a consequence, moms are encouraged to breastfeed their babies. That’s healthy for them too, as breastfeeding reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer.
“What happens in the hospital can determine whether a mom starts and continues to breastfeed, and we know that many moms — 60 percent — stop breastfeeding earlier than they’d like,” said Cria Perrine, a doctor from CDC.
Pregnant women, along with pediatricians, are advised to encourage hospitals to become “baby friendly.”
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