ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Taking the Mystery Out of Hypnotherapy
Meditation May Boost Short-Term Visual Memory
38% of U.S. Adults Use Alternative Treatments
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Heart Failure Raises Risk of Fractures
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
Brazilian Mint Tea Naturally Good for Pain Relief
CANCER
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
Study Cites Gains in Gall Bladder Cancer Treatment
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
CAREGIVING
More Than 60,000 Patients Risked Hepatitis Infections
ER Less Likely to Diagnose Stroke in Younger Folks
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
DIABETES
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
DIET, NUTRITION
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Just Say No to Nuts During Pregnancy
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Think You Are Lead-Free? Check Your Soil
Disinfectants Can Boost Bacteria's Resistance to Treatment
Hairspray Exposure Ups Risk for Birth Defect in Sons
EYE CARE, VISION
Half of U.S. Adults Lack 20/20 Vision
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
FITNESS
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Retail Clinics Attracting Those Without Regular Doctors
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Adults Need To Get Thier Food Facts Straight
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Heart Disease
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
Chinese Red Yeast Rice May Prevent Heart Attack
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
Babies Cared For In Others Homes Might Become Heavy Toddlers
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
MENTAL HEALTH
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
SENIORS
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk
Add your Article

Hospital Practices Influence Which Moms Will Breast-Feed

FRIDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital practices such as providing formula or water to supplement breast-feeding significantly reduce the number of mothers who breast-feed only, U.S. researchers report.

They analyzed national survey data from 1,573 mothers who gave birth in a hospital to a single infant in 2005. The women were asked retrospectively about their breast-feeding intentions, infant feeding practices at one week, and hospital practices.

The study found a significant difference between the numbers of mothers who said they intended to exclusively breast-feed and those who actually did so one week after giving birth. Among first-time mothers, 70 percent said they intended to exclusively breast-feed, but only 50 percent did so one week after giving birth.

The data suggests that more than 400,000 infants a year are born to mothers in the United States who intend to exclusively breast-feed but don't achieve that goal, the researchers said.

Hospital practices strongly influenced whether mothers followed through on their breast-feeding goals. Those who weren't offered water or formula supplementation were much more likely to achieve their intention to exclusively breast-feed -- 4.4 times more likely among first-time mothers and 8.8 times more likely among mothers who'd previously given birth.

The study found that 49 percent of first-time mothers who intended to exclusively breast-feed said their babies were given water or formula supplementation, and 74 percent reported being given free formula samples or offers.

The researchers also identified other hospital practices that influenced breast-feeding. For example, first-time mothers who gave birth in hospitals that practiced at least six of seven recommended steps to encourage breast-feeding -- such as helping mothers get started and not giving pacifiers to babies -- were six times more likely to achieve their goal of breast-feeding only than mothers at hospitals that followed one or none of the practices meant to encourage breast-feeding.

The study was published online in the American Journal of Public Health.

"Why are those hospital practices that have been repeatedly shown to increase breast-feeding among new mothers not more consistently instituted in United States hospitals? A large proportion of mothers stop exclusive breast-feeding within the first week, and that action was strongly related to hospital practices," wrote study leader Eugene Declercq, a professor of maternal and child health at Boston University School of Public Health, and colleagues.

They noted that the American Academy of Pediatrics and other medical groups recommend that infants consume only mother's milk for at least the first six months of life.

"Very often, research studies yield conclusions that don't translate easily into changes in practice or policy," Declercq said. "In this case, the message is loud and clear -- hospital practices can make a difference in early breast-feeding success and, in particular, every effort should be made to avoid supplementation of healthy babies of mothers who intended to exclusively breast-feed."

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians offers breast-feeding advice.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Boston University School of Public Health, news release, March 19, 2009

Last Updated: March 20, 2009

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