This may be news to some, but for mothers who breastfeed their babies you may have already recognized these advanatages.
In a new study where the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted its first-ever review of practices by hospitals and specialty birth centers in terms of promoting breast-feeding - Birth Centers WON!
Hospitals in many parts of the U.S. are actually discouraging breastfeeding by providing formula before discharge from the hospital facility. Health experts strongly encourage women to breast-feed their babies rather than give them bottles of formula, saying breast milk provides a range of health benefits to the infant.
CDC epidemiologist Dr. Deborah Dee, who led the study, said she was surprised so many facilities do things that may undermine breast-feeding.For example, 70 percent of the 2,546 hospitals and 121 birth centers that provided data to the CDC included free infant formula samples in gift packages given to women when they are discharged from the facility after giving birth."By providing formula, it's almost an implicit endorsement of that product," Dee said.In addition, 24 percent of the facilities said they give more than half of their healthy, full-term newborns who are being breast-fed by their mothers supplemental feedings of formula or something else other than breast milk. The CDC said this is detrimental to breast-feeding.
But hospitals by and large have made progress in recent decades in promoting breast-feeding as evidence of its health benefits mounted, Chantry said in a telephone interview.The CDC previously said the percentage of U.S. infants who were breast-fed rose to a high of 77 percent among those born in 2005 and 2006 from 60 percent in babies born in 1993-1994.Research has shown that breast-fed babies enjoy health advantages such as fewer ear, stomach or intestinal infections, digestive problems, skin diseases and allergies, and less risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. A study suggested they are smarter than formula-fed babies, too.