Support For Breastfeeding Is On The Rise

This week has been a powerful time in the breastfeeding support world! Two major events happened which I am hoping and praying will have a domino effect around the country and around the world!

First, The State of Rhode Island became the first US State to announce that it was BANNING free formula giveaways at it’s hospitals. Numerous studies have shown that giving out formula to new moms while in the hospital has a detrimental effect on rates of breastfeeding success and duration.

Second, Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest integrated health care system caring for mothers and babies, announced that it would be supporting breastfeeding by making all 29 of it’s mother/baby health care centers become baby-friendly by 2013. In 2010, these hospitals cared for over 96,000 mom/babies.

There are currently 121 hospitals that meet the requirements of the baby-friendly initiative, so the Kaiser commitment will increase this number by nearly 25%. There are 10 steps to becoming a baby-friendly hospital which can be seen below:

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative promotes, protects, and supports breastfeeding through The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding for Hospitals, as outlined by UNICEF/WHO. The steps for the United States are:

1 – Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
2 – Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
3 – Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
4 – Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
5 – Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
6 – Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breastmilk, unless medically indicated.
7 – Practice “rooming in”– allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
8 – Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
9 – Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
10 – Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic

Its been a great week for breastfeeding!! Please remember to support organizations like The Best For Babes Foundation, The Milk Truck, La Leche League International and The United States Breastfeeding Committee for all that they do to help promote breastfeeding and to support breastfeeding moms!

We are a proud supporter of these breastfeeding organizations!

2 comments to Support For Breastfeeding Is On The Rise

  • Karen B

    I work for WIC as a breastfeeding peer counselor and it makes my heart skip with joy whenever I hear that medical institutions are jumping on the breastfeeding band-wagon!!! More and more nurses and doctors should support breastfeeding. Too many times I see moms get horrible advice from nurses and doctors and undermining the mom.

    Yay breastfeeding!!! :o)

  • I have to say that I’m really happy for this change. I wish my small town hospital gave out bags from Mothering (filled with green Natural Parenting products) instead of from the formula companies. Even though I insisted that I wanted to breastfeed my first child I was confused that my “breastfeeding gift bag” still have formula in it. In fact the nurse said the ONLY difference between the bags was the breastfeeding one had the milk storage bags and the hand pump. So that means that moms that are unsure and get the regular bag don’t even get a hand pump or a chance.

    Because of those samples and bottles in that bag I started giving him formula just days after coming home before my milk really came in and good breastfeeding was established. It set me up for failure before even leaving the hospital.

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