ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Cranberries May Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
Taking the Mystery Out of Hypnotherapy
The Zen Way to Pain Relief
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Weight Loss Might Not Curb Knee Arthritis
Many Americans Fall Short on Their Vitamin D
Bone Loss Stable on Restricted Calorie Diet
CANCER
Study Cites Gains in Gall Bladder Cancer Treatment
Gene Studies Reveal Cancer's Secrets
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
CAREGIVING
What Moms Learned May Be Passed to Offspring
Many Hospital Patients Can't ID Their Doctors
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
DIABETES
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pesticides Linked to Parkinson's
Home Renovations by Affluent Families Can Unleash Lead Threat
Sunken, Unexploded Bombs Pose Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Protein Might One Day Prevent Blindness
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
FITNESS
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Exercise Keeps the Brain Young
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Health Gains From Lowered Smoking Rates in Jeopardy
Adults Need To Get Thier Food Facts Straight
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
Quick Orthopedic Repair Can Save Young Shoulders
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
MENTAL HEALTH
Optimism May Boost Immune System
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
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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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