Friday, February 15, 2008

Hospital Practices Interfere with Breastfeeding

This kind of piggy backs on my earlier post about hospitals giving free formula samples to new mothers leaving the hospital postpartum.

Birth NETWORK has posted an article orginally published by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). It mentions the appropriate interventions that hospitals should employ to encourage breastfeeding for newborns born in hospitals. It also mentions obstetrical interventions during birth that interfere with breastfeeding. Those include the use of labor analgesics (pain medications like demoral, morphine, etc) epidural anesthesia, and cesarean birth.

The article also addresses the benefits of breastfeeding and why it should be encouraged, both for babies and mothers. It advocates extending breastfeeding through the first year as the benefits possibly include lower obesity rates in childhood and adolescence, and lower rates of childhood illness and infection.

These findings ought to make obsetricians and hospital staff to question the use of routine pain relief given to women in labor and prevent hospitals from lining their pocketbooks from formula companies intent to sell their product to women who ought to focussing their efforts on establishing a healthy and normal breastfeeding relationship. Trust me, women who need to formula feed their babies, know where to find it. It doesn't need to be sent home with them.

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