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Science, Health, Tech

Delaware's hospitals consider breastfeeding high priority

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Delaware hospitals have made breastfeeding a high public health priority, according to a maternity survey from the Centers for Disease Control.

Breastfeeding helps infants fight disease and infections. It also decreases a mother’s risk for ovarian and breast cancer.

As the state ranked no. 2 in the country for its support for breastfeeding mothers, Delaware’s Breastfeeding Coalition Chair Lisl Phelps said she is proud of the state for recognizing the benefits of breastfeeding. She also acknowledged that breastfeeding is not for everyone.

 

"We always want to say that breastfeeding is a choice and it doesn’t work for everybody," Phelps said. "We want to give moms prenatally all the information they need to make the choice that works well for their family."

 

The Centers for Disease Control granted Delaware a perfect score in breastfeeding in prenatal patient education. The state was also praised for having staff members at hospitals who coordinate breastfeeding care. Phelps said Delaware keeps getting better and better in its support for breastfeeding.

 

"The hospitals in Delaware are doing an excellent job in supporting women with strategies to increase breastfeeding and provide support, support practices that increase the rates of breastfeeding," Phelps said.

 

But breastfeeding rates in Delaware could still improve, Phelps said. She anticipates that future surveys will show higher rates, as the data for this one was gathered in 2013.