Two long-time Steering committee members of the MBC, Dr. Pamela Heggie, MD, IBCLC and Marcia McCoy, MPH, IBCLC, collaborated on a new article in Pediatrics, “In-hospital formula feeding and breastfeeding duration.” These investigators found that infants who were fed formula during their postpartum hospital stay were 2.5 to 6 times more likely to be weaned earlier from breastmilk than infants who were exclusively breastfed from birth. In-hospital formula-feeding of breastfed infants is widespread among participants in the Minnesota WIC program, as is shorter-than-recommended and shorter-than-desired duration of breastfeeding. The authors suggested strategies to reduce in-hospital formula feeding, such as including culturally appropriate prenatal education; peer counseling; hospital staff and physician education; and skin-to-skin contact. Breastfeeding duration has been shown to have a significant impact on numerous health outcomes, with a dose-response protective effect for SIDS, infection in infancy, and childhood obesity. The AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding for all newborns for about 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding plus complementary foods for at least a year.
McCoy, M.B., & Heggie, P. (2020). In-hospital formula feeding and breastfeeding duration. Pediatrics, 46(1), published on-line first; will be in July 2020 issue.