September 20th, 2012

Hospital support, limits on formula key to breastfeeding success

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon
Health Policy Solutions

Infant formula should be tracked and locked at all hospitals just like other supplies and pharmaceuticals, experts said Tuesday during the first-ever Colorado Hospital Breastfeeding Summit.

Studies in Colorado have found that nine of 10 mothers want to breastfeed their babies, and unnecessary use of infant formula in the early hours and days of newborns’ lives can derail mothers’ plans, according to breastfeeding expert and parenting author, Dr. Marianne Neifert, also known as “Dr. Mom.”

In New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is fighting obesity by limiting soda serving sizes and calling for formula to be locked up at New York hospitals.

“I’m a little dumbfounded that this is even an issue. It’s standard operating procedure…not a punishment,” said Trish MacEnroe, executive director for Baby-Friendly USA. The national group is helping U.S. hospitals implement recommendations from the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund to achieve the highest level of certification to support breastfeeding.

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