Breastfeeding-Related Maternity Practices

This made me sad. Ugh. I love my state; it’s my home. But sometimes I get tired of it always being at or near the top of bad lists and at or near the bottom of good lists. My one comfort is that Mississippi is the most charitable state per capita (or as a percentage of income), because we usually have among the highest rates of obesity and the lowest educational scores in the nation — among many, many other things. And although this report doesn’t single out Mississippi alone, it was one of the states that had the seven lowest percentages of breastfeeding children at 6 months. Hey — maybe that has something to do with the high obesity and low education later in life?! I guess the other “silver lining” is that a lot of the states pretty much sucked (as opposed to suckled), so it’s not like it’s just Mississippi or the South. The funny thing is, you’d think that breastfeeding would be more common among lower-income people, because it is so much cheaper than buying formula. It also irritated me that so few hospitals are actually supporting breastfeeding in day-to-day operations. With something so important, it needs to be high priority!

…70% of facilities reported providing discharge packs containing infant formula samples to breastfeeding mothers…

For newborn feeding, 24% of facilities reported giving supplements (and not breast milk exclusively) as a general practice with more than half of all healthy, full-term breastfeeding newborns, a practice that is not supportive of breastfeeding (7,10). When asked whether healthy, full-term breastfed infants who receive supplements are given glucose water or water, 30% of facilities reported giving feedings of glucose water and 15% reported giving water, practices that are not supportive of breastfeeding. In addition, 17% of facilities reported they gave something other than breast milk as a first feeding to more than half the healthy, full-term, breastfeeding newborns born in uncomplicated cesarean births.

3 Responses

  1. Our lactation consultant removes the formula samples from the formula supplied “breast feeding” support bags. It is amazing how breastfeeding has come full circle. It used to be the poor and undereducated who breastfed because they could not afford formula. Now it is the well-off and more educated who breastfeed. The most vulnerable members of society are the ones who would benefit the most from breastfeeding, yet the don’t. It is very frustrating.

  2. RR — I’ve noticed that about breastfeeding and other things — the upper class does X, then everyone has to follow… then eventually it is found out that X is not nearly as good as the previous normal in one way or another, so then the upper class revert back to normal, but by then it is more difficult, more expensive, or in some other way harder for everyone else to stop doing X. Example — it’s harder to find healthy whole foods, and they’re more expensive; but 100 years ago, it was harder and more expensive to get refined foods. It used to be that only rich people could afford enough food while also being sedentary to be fat; now we are in the middle of an obesity epidemic and I’ve heard more than one person complain about how expensive it is to eat in such a way to be thin. (It’s not really — at a bare minimum, if you just eat a teaspoon of this or a tablespoon of that you’ll lose weight eventually; but I understand the point — it’s cheap and easy to eat fast food, and much more expensive to get organic foods; and our society is such that we tend to sit around a lot rather than walk around a lot — you have to join a gym in order to be made to move.)

  3. It is amazing the difference in geography of the United States. I live up north and am surrounded by a bunch of colleges. We have a disproportionate amount of lawyers and other professionals. That might be why we have a 50% c-section rate. But we do have a high breast feeding rate. We also have a free mothers group for breast feeding women. It meets every day.

    We also have a lot of farmer’s markets popping up. Which is usually a blast. Fresh food tastes so much better than frozen or refined.

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