Innovative Approaches To Promote Breastfeeding

Innovative Approaches To Promote Breastfeeding Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Breastfeeding provides health benefits for both infants and mothers: it provides babies with vital nutrients and antibodies that can defend against illness, and it reduces the risk of type II diabetes and breast and ovarian cancers for mothers. The Office on Women’s Health estimates that “if 90% of families breastfed exclusively for 6 months, nearly 1,000 deaths among infants could be prevented” and the United States would save $2.2 billion per year from fewer infant sick care visits, prescriptions, and hospitalizations.

The featured Innovations describe three initiatives to promote breastfeeding, including a baby-friendly hospital designation for which participating hospitals adopt standard policies aimed at reducing formula feeding and encouraging breastfeeding; a breastfeeding education program to support low-income, minority women; and a voluntary citywide initiative for public and private hospitals to support breastfeeding mothers and eliminate practices that interfere with breastfeeding.

The featured QualityTools include a global program that encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for lactation, a toolkit that addresses The Joint Commission’s Perinatal Care Core Measure on Exclusive Breast Milk Feeding, and a public awareness campaign highlighting the health benefits of breast milk for infants.

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