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Breastfeeding Promotion

There is no better way to provide a baby with the nutrition he or she needs than by breastfeeding. Studies show that babies who are breastfed are much less likely to develop infections or health problems later in life. The first few years of life are an important period for a child’s development. Breastfeeding ensures the proper nutrition needed for a baby to develop properly and begin a healthy life. For more information on breastfeeding benefits, view local resources available to help you succeed at breastfeeding and view the educational brochure.

Last year, the COHC Board of Directors approved "Community Standards for Breastfeeding Promotion," which was developed by hospital OB and neonatal representatives over the past year. The standards are intended to encourage hospital practices community-wide that support mothers in breastfeeding, and are consistent with guidelines established by the "Baby Friendly 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding" initiative.  According to the standards, local hospitals will strive to:

  • Place babies in their mother's arms within 30 minutes of birth for at least an hour;

  • Initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth;

  • Provide newborns exclusively with breast milk during their hospital stay;

  • Encourage mothers to "room in" by remaining with their newborns for 24 hours a day;

  • Educate parents on best breastfeeding practices and on community resources available after discharge; and

  • Discontinue routinely providing free samples and coupons for infant formula.

The Board also approved an Employer Pledge for Breastfeeding Mothers, a document also drafted by the OB and neonatal representatives. The pledge is intended to address concerns raised by pregnant women surveyed last September by COHC on their top barriers to breastfeeding. That survey showed the top barrier being difficulties women perceive when they return to school or work. Other area employers will be encouraged to adopt the pledge in 2013.

Survey Results Indicate Top Barriers for Women's Decision to Breastfeed

From September 1 to October 1, 2012, Central Ohio Hospital Council (COHC) administered a survey to pregnant women in Central Ohio prenatal clinics (hospital-based and those operated by FQHCs and Columbus Public Health) as well as from private obstetrician (OB) offices, to identify frequently perceived barriers to breastfeeding.

Of the 581 women surveyed, 33% indicated that they would not breastfeed their babies, with top concerns being:

1.       Difficulty with returning to school or work;

2.       Lack of help from others;

3.       Concerns over discomfort and pain.



Through the Ohio Better Birth Outcomes initiative, prenatal clinics throughout the community have developed and are providing pregnant women with an educational brochure highlighting the many health benefits of breastfeeding for babies and moms.

Did you know?

Breastfed babies have:

  • Better breathing and lung function, and are less likely to develop asthma
  • Healthier weights and are less likely to become obese
  • Less chance of developing diabetes.

Breastfed babies have a lower risk of:

  • Chronic ear infections, diarrhea and pneumonia
  • Allergies
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  • Childhood leukemia.




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155 East Broad Street
23rd floor
Columbus, OH 43215-3609
(614) 358-2710