A report released today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that 77 percent of babies started breastfeeding in 2010, up from 71 percent in 2000. In addition, the amount of babies that were still breastfeeding one year after birth increased to 27 percent in 2010 from 16 percent in 2000.
Dr. James Rost, medical director of pediatrics and the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center, explains the benefits of breastfeeding, stating that “research has shown that breastfed babies have a lower risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), diabetes, respiratory and ear infections, skin allergies and obesity.”
There are benefits to breastfeeding for not only the baby but also the mother. Dr. Rost says that mothers who breastfeed have increased weight loss as well as a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers.
Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center is working to become one of the first “baby-friendly” hospitals in Maryland. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative from the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund recognizes hospitals that provide extensive support for and encouragement of breastfeeding. Hospitals must follow 10 steps to become baby-friendly, including:
- Helping mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
- Practicing “rooming in” (keeping mothers and infants together 24 hours a day).
- Training all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement the breastfeeding policy.
Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center offers classes with certified lactation consultants to help you and your baby get off to the easiest start possible! You can also call 240-826-MOMS (6667) Monday through Friday during business hours with any breastfeeding questions you have.
If you have other questions about your upcoming birth experience, Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center’s Birth Advisor is available to speak with you. Schedule your free one-on-one consultation today!