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Hospital Practices Influence Which Moms Will Breast-Feed
Date:3/20/2009

ving pacifiers to babies -- were six times more likely to achieve their goal of breast-feeding only than mothers at hospitals that followed one or none of the practices meant to encourage breast-feeding.

The study was published online in the American Journal of Public Health.

"Why are those hospital practices that have been repeatedly shown to increase breast-feeding among new mothers not more consistently instituted in United States hospitals? A large proportion of mothers stop exclusive breast-feeding within the first week, and that action was strongly related to hospital practices," wrote study leader Eugene Declercq, a professor of maternal and child health at Boston University School of Public Health, and colleagues.

They noted that the American Academy of Pediatrics and other medical groups recommend that infants consume only mother's milk for at least the first six months of life.

"Very often, research studies yield conclusions that don't translate easily into changes in practice or policy," Declercq said. "In this case, the message is loud and clear -- hospital practices can make a difference in early breast-feeding success and, in particular, every effort should be made to avoid supplementation of healthy babies of mothers who intended to exclusively breast-feed."

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians offers breast-feeding advice.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Boston University School of Public Health, news release, March 19, 2009


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