Delta County Memorial Hospital and 19 other Colorado hospitals received awards from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Sept. 18 for implementing best practices to support breastfeeding. Last year, the department recognized 13 hospitals.
There now are 33 hospitals — more than half of all Colorado birthing hospitals — that give new mothers the support they need to start and continue breastfeeding.
"Our Colorado hospital community is making great strides in supporting breastfeeding for new mothers," said Dr. Chris Urbina, executive director and chief medical officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. "We know breastfeeding can help prevent childhood obesity and reduce the risk of many childhood illnesses. The majority of new mothers want to breastfeed, and these hospitals play a vital role in giving babies a healthy start."
Hospitals that receive the Colorado Can Do 5! breastfeeding award implement five best practices:
1. The infant is breastfed in the first hour after birth.
2. The infant is fed only breast milk in the hospital.
3. The infant stays in the same room with the mother in the hospital.
4. The infant does not use a pacifier in the hospital.
5. Hospital staff gives each mother a telephone number to call for help with breastfeeding after being discharged from the hospital.
Supporting mothers in their breastfeeding efforts is effective and inexpensive early intervention to the prevention of obesity, one of the state's winnable battles. By 2016, the department's goal is to increase the percentage of mothers who report some breastfeeding of their infants at 6 months of age from 61 percent to 65 percent.blog comments powered by Disqus