CDC: More Breastfeeding Support Is Needed in US Hospitals

August 21, 2011

In the United States, 20% of preschoolers are overweight and, of those, 50% are obese. Children who are obese are more likely to be obese in adulthood and thus are at greater risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. A baby’s risk of becoming overweight or obese is reduced with each month of breastfeeding. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that healthy babies be given only breast milk for the first 6 months of life.

In the United States, 20% of preschoolers are overweight and, of those, 50% are obese.1 Children who are obese are more likely to be obese in adulthood and thus are at greater risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. A baby’s risk of becoming overweight or obese is reduced with each month of breastfeeding. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that healthy babies be given only breast milk for the first 6 months of life.

In an effort to help protect children against childhood obesity, the CDC is encouraging hospitals to adopt Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding in an effort to promote breastfeeding. These 10 steps are listed below and include the following:

• Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
• Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
• Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
• Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within 1 hour of birth.
• Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation even when separated from their infants.
• Give newborns no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated.
• Practice “rooming in,” or allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
• Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
• Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
• Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups, and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.

More Information

WHO: BreastfeedingBreastfeeding Best Practice Guidelines for Nurses

Related Content

Type 1 Diabetes Tied to Shorter Breastfeeding DurationQ&A: Endometriosis and Breastfeeding

References:

Reference
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hospitals need better maternity care practices. Accessed August 11, 2011.