In a recently released issue of Pediatrics ( 10.1542/peds.2017-0142), Dr. Trang Nguyen and colleagues look at a very interesting and clinically important question: what is the prevalence of formula supplementation among breastfed infants in maternity hospitals, and what factors impact this? The authors focus on their home state of New York (NY) because NY has the second highest rate of formula supplementation (26.1%) in the US, which is meaningfully higher than the national average (17.1%), and almost double the Healthy People 2020 Maternal, Infant and Child Health goal of 14.2% (< https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/maternal-infant-and-child-health/objectives>). Solid evidence supports the urgency of reducing in-hospital not medically indicated formula supplementation of breastfed infants: although previously viewed as a benign practice that “helped” mothers, we now know that the impact of this practice is measurably negative. Chantry and colleagues demonstrated that among first time mothers who intended to breastfeed, those whose infants received formula in the hospital were 1.8 times less likely to be exclusively breastfeeding by 60 days postpartum and were 2.7 times more likely to have stopped breastfeeding than those whose infants were not supplemented. 1 Nguyen et al used 2014 enhanced birth certificate data for all eligible infants from the 126 birthing hospitals in NY (n=160,911 infants); a major strength of this study is the completeness and size of their sample. They found that observed formula supplementation rates varied widely across NY, and their analytical approach, which adjusts for confounding factors, is clear, well explained and easy to read.
- Widespread Hospital Variation in Supplementation of Breastfed Newborns
- The Breastfeeding-Friendly Pediatric Office Practice
- Neurodevelopment: The Impact of Nutrition and Inflammation During Preconception and Pregnancy in Low-Resource Settings
- Donor Human Milk for the High-Risk Infant: Preparation, Safety, and Usage Options in the United States
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