Your Family

Jul 15, 2010 9:04 PM by Monica Quintero

Local hospital's breastfeeding program seeing great results

A Santa Maria hospital has been working harder than ever to educate local moms about the benefits of breastfeeding and it seems it's paying off. Marian Medical Center says they've seen tremendous results in the past year. Seventy-percent of moms are going home now exclusively breast feeding. There's also been a 35-percent decrease of formula use at the hospital.

Little Michael was born two days ago. It's Irene Orozco's fourth child. The stay at home mom has breast fed every single one of her children.
Orozco said, "You just know they're receiving what they're supposed to be receiving, what's natural." Marilyn Propst, Perinatal Services Director at Marian Medical Center, said, "It gives them antibodies from mom so babies are less sick. It's very beneficial for their brain development, for their little digestive track."

It's also beneficial for mom. One of the benefits of breastfeeding is weight loss. In fact, breastfeeding, increases the rate of weight loss in most nursing moms. Experts say moms who don't breastfeed are at increased risk for urinary tract infections, pre and post menopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis. Propst also wants to stress the importance of breastfeeding to working moms. She said, "They can freeze the breast milk and then have a supply for family members or friends or their care provider when they're at work."

As for other challenges, Orozco admits it can be difficult to get the baby to latch to you but says mom's shouldn't give up. She says just keep reminding yourself it benefits you and your baby. There are also risks for babies who are not breastfed. It's quite a list including an increase risk of ear infection, obesity, SIDS and allergies. Marian Medical Center delivers around 250 babies a month. They provide education before delivery, during a mom's stay at the hospital and even have a nurture line for moms with questions.

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