Skip to content

Health & Baby

Font Size

New Breastfeeding Push at Hospitals

Hospitals, Birth Centers Could Do More to Promote Breastfeeding, Says CDC
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

June 12, 2008 -- Hospitals and birth centers could go further in promoting breastfeeding, the CDC reports.

In a new CDC survey, most hospitals and birth centers -- 88% -- say they teach most new moms breastfeeding techniques.

But the survey -- completed by more than 2,600 hospitals and birth centers in the 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. -- also shows room for improvement.

For instance, 24% of the facilities reported routinely giving other drinks (such as sugar water) to more than half of healthy, full-term newborns. And 70% of the facilities reported sending breastfeeding moms home with samples of infant formula. Those practices aren't supportive of breastfeeding, notes the CDC.

The survey results also show that although 95% of the facilities gave new moms a hotline number to call for breastfeeding advice when they went home, only 56% reported calling new moms to see how they were doing with their breastfeeding.

"These findings underscore the importance of improving the way hospitals and birth centers provide assistance, encouragement, and support for breastfeeding," Laurence Grummer-Strawn, PhD, chief of the nutrition branch in the CDC's division of nutrition, physical activity, and obesity, says in a CDC news release.

Facilities in the western and northeastern U.S. were better about that than southern facilities, and birth centers fared slightly better than hospitals.

The findings appear in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Baby's First Year Newsletter

Because every week matters, get expert advice and facts on what to expect in your baby's first year.

Today on WebMD

mother on phone holding baby
When you should call 911.
Mother with baby
Unexpected ways your life will change.
baby acne
What’s normal – and what’s not.
baby asleep on moms shoulder
Help your baby get the sleep he needs.

mother holding baby at night
mother with sick child
Chinese mother breast feeding newborn baby girl
Track Your Babys Vaccines
Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
Woman holding feet up to camera
Father kissing newborn baby
baby gear slideshow