(Mirror Daily, United States) – According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hospitals support breastfeeding mothers now more than ever.
It’s not revolutionary that babies thrive the most when fed with the nutritious breast milk, which, in most cases, is the best feeding option for the first months. Besides providing all the nutrients and vitamins the baby needs, breast milk is also the best source of disease-fighting substances and growth supplement.
Studies show mothers also benefit from the breastfeeding experience, which can reduce risk of developing ovarian and breast cancer. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines recommend exclusively breastfeeding infants for the first 6 months of life as the best case scenario for both the mother and the child.
Hospitals have a tremendous role in encouraging women to follow these recommendations by supporting those who want to breastfeed. And apparently hospital administrations have been doing their best, as revealed by this report.
From 91 percent of U.S. hospitals that were offering prenatal breastfeeding education in 2007, the percentage increased to 93 percent in 2013. At the same time, the percentage of medical centers teaching mothers breastfeeding techniques rose from 88 percent to 92 percent.
A significant increase was also seen in the number of hospitals that supported moms in early initiation of breastfeeding – from 43 percent in 2007 to 64 percent in 2013. While only 29 percent of American hospitals were fulfilling at least five of 10 standard guidelines for supporting breastfeeding in 2007, more than half of the hospitals aligned to the recommendations in 2013.
The hospitals meeting all 10 of the recommendations earned the equivalent of an “A”, which is the honor of “Baby-Friendly;” however, only a small 14 percent of the 4 million babies who are born annually in the U.S. have the benefit of doing so in these centers.
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) has outlined the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, which starts with allowing the mother and the infant to spend the entire day together so as to encourage breastfeeding on demand.
BFHI is the baby project of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). This global initiative aims to encourage more hospitals and birthing centers to offer optimal care for mother/baby bonding and infant feeding by recognizing those facilities that already do so.
The first days after birth are crucial, and if hospitals support breastfeeding mothers, a lot of issues go away, such as the problem of not producing enough milk, thinking the pain was not worth it, and the baby not latching on.
Image Source: Dallas OB&GYN