Breasfeeding education - linked to obesity prevention

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Breasfeeding education - linked to obesity prevention
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The World Health Organization's "Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding" is a set of model practices that local health departments can help hospitals to implement, and can be found at http://www.unicef.org/newsline/tenstps.htm -- The model practices are summarized below.

Every facility providing maternity services and care for newborn infants should:
(1) Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
(2) Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
(3) Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
(4) Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within half an hour of birth.
(5) Show mothers how to breastfeed, and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants.
(6) Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
(7) Practice rooming-in - that is, allow mothers and infants to remain together - 24 hours a day.
(8) Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
(9) Give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants.
(10) Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.

You can read more at MMWR http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm60e0802a1.htm -- As the MMWR article notes, nearly all babies are born at hospitals, so if all hospitals provided model breastfeeding assistance and support to new mothers, the positive health impact might be substantial. Should health departments take an active role in encouraging area hospitals to implement these model practices?