ATLANTA -- Emory University Hospital Midtown (EUHM) has been selected as one of 90 hospitals across the U.S., and one of seven in Georgia, to participate in a new national effort to improve breastfeeding rates in states where rates are currently the lowest. Although breastfeeding is one of the most effective preventive health measures for infants and mothers, half of the babies born in the U.S. are given formula within the first week of life. By nine months of age, only 31 percent of babies are breastfeeding at all.
The announcement comes as more than 170 countries around the globe celebrate World Breastfeeding Week from Aug. 1-7. The week is designed to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.
The new, 22-month initiative, called Best Fed Beginnings (http://www.nichq.org/our_projects/cdcbreastfeeding.html), seeks to reverse these trends by dramatically increasing the number of U.S. hospitals implementing a proven model for maternity services that better supports a new mother’s choice to breastfeed.
“We recognize that for women who plan to breastfeed, the hospital experience strongly influences a mother’s ability to start and continue breastfeeding,” says Ruth Simmons, BSN, RNC-LRN, IBCLC, Coordinator of Lactation Support Services, Emory University Hospital Midtown. “This new program shows our commitment to support mothers’ wishes after delivery.” Simmons is leading the Best Fed Beginnings program at EUHM.