Wide Disparity In Breastfeeding Rates At San Diego Hospitals
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Aired 8/2/12 on KPBS News.
The percentage of women who exclusively breastfeed their newborns varies among San Diego County hospitals.
SAN DIEGO When it comes to breastfeeding newborn babies, there's wide variability among San Diego hospitals. A new report reveals some stark contrasts.
Dr. Nancy Wight is Sharp HealthCare's director of lactation services. She said there are some cultural barriers to breastfeeding among certain ethnic groups. But Wight pointed out a bigger factor is the influence of hospital staff.
"There's this general feeling, well, if we just give them a little formula they'll sleep better, or they won't cry as much," Wight said. "But it's sabotaging in the long run, for a short-term gain."
The WIC report shows countywide, 70 percent of women exclusively breast-feed their newborns. That's the 25th highest rate among California counties.