Delaware Ranks Second in CDC Breastfeeding Survey - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Ranks Second in CDC Breastfeeding Survey

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DOVER, Del. – Delaware maternity hospitals have much to be proud of including a new ranking for their support of breastfeeding mothers.  Delaware ranks second the country in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2015 national survey of Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC). 

Delaware received its highest score in the history of the mPINC survey, a 90, tying with New Hampshire; that score has risen almost twenty points since 2013.

“Breastfeeding is a public health priority because it provides the optimal nutrition for infants,” said Division of Public Health (DPH) Director Dr. Karyl Rattay.

Breastfeeding has been seen to protects babies from many major health issues including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), diarrhea, ear infections, pneumonia, allergies, and asthma; also babies who are breastfed for the first six months are less likely to become obese. 

There are other benefits as well.  Breastfeeding mothers have less risk of breast and ovarian cancers, and lose pregnancy weight faster.  Breastfeeding has also saved mothers at least $1,200 in the first year.

Delaware earned perfect scores for an array of sectors concerning breastfeeding including breastfeeding in prenatal patient education and hospitals being more breastfeeding friendly for new mothers. Delaware also earned high scores for initial skin-to-skin contact within the first hour of birth, as well as having staff who directly observe and assess breastfeeding and are able to provide breastfeeding support to maternity hospital employees.

“Creating a breastfeeding culture in our maternity hospitals optimally supports mothers and babies,” said Dr. David A. Paul, clinical leader of the Women and Children’s Service Line and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Christiana Care Health System.  “When evidence-based maternity care practices are implemented, breastfeeding rates rise.”

Breastfeeding mother Lauren Durk of Dover, with her five-month old in her arms,  said “Although breastfeeding can be challenging at times, it has been well worth it to me and I couldn't imagine anything different for us. The health benefits of breastfeeding are important to me and I love the extra bonding time I get to share with my daughter while she nurses.”  However, Durk recognizes it is not always easy for working mothers to breastfeed.

“Breastfeeding rates in Delaware are still below the national average,” said Lisl Phelps, DPH Nurse Consultant and chair of the Delaware Breastfeeding Coalition.  “Community support shown by the hospitals is an important step in the right direction.”  Phelps notes that that Delaware is making significant progress in breastfeeding support due to the collaboration of health systems, state agencies, and private citizens.

For more information about the mPINC survey, visit www.cdc.gov/mpinc.  The website includes a four-minute animated mPINC video featuring CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden.

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