When You Birth in the Hospital, Do You Expect Your Nurse to do This?

I think most, if not all, expectant mothers assume that they will be encouraged, shown how, and helped with breastfeeding after the baby is born by their nurse.

Not so, according to this new report issued by the CDC

What is really going on across the country?

Just over 3% of the country's hospitals fully support breast-feeding

80% of hospitals give healthy breast-fed babies formula at some point

Only 1/3 of hospitals have "rooming in" policies, which has been shown to increase breastfeeding rates

75% of hospitals do not provide adequate support for mothers once they leave, including follow-up visits and phone calls

"We're a very long way from where we need to be," CDC Director Thomas Frieden told reporters on Tuesday.

Failure to promote breast-feeding costs the U.S. healthcare system $2.2 billion annually, Frieden said, not to mention – and most importantly – babies lives.

So, new moms, your basically on your own and in fact, you should assume that the hospital staff will work against your breastfeeding efforts. 

What can you do to ensure your breastfeeding relationship starts off strong?

Studies have shown that the follow practices increase your odds of breastfeeding:

1.  Educate yourself and birth partner before delivery.  My breastfeeding module pretty much sums up everything you need to know!

2.  Hire a doula.  Studies show that doulas increase your odds of establishing a good breastfeeding relationship.

3.  Be healthy during pregnancy and afterward.  A well nourished mom provides ample and quality milk for her baby.  Birthologie's module 1 is all about nutrition!

4.  Have an unmedicated birth.  Even IV fluids can decrease your odds of breastfeeding, and studies have shown that pitocin (even pitocin used directly after delivery) and epidural use definitely decrease your odds of a good start. Of course Birthologie's online course will give you all the tools you need!

5.  Scout out your local and online resources before you deliver.  Attend La Leche League and other breastfeeding support groups, find some great online breastfeeding sites, and connect with other like minded moms that will support breastfeeding.

6.  Choose your caregiver and birthplace wisely.  Research your hospitals' policies regarding breastfeeding, ask if they have a lactation consultant on staff 24 hours a day, or have a birth center or homebirth.

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