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Wide Disparity In Breastfeeding Rates At San Diego Hospitals

Aired 8/2/12 on KPBS News.

The percentage of women who exclusively breastfeed their newborns varies among San Diego County hospitals.

— When it comes to breastfeeding newborn babies, there's wide variability among San Diego hospitals. A new report reveals some stark contrasts.

The California WIC Association report shows more than 90 percent of moms exclusively breastfeed their babies at Pomerado Hospital. But only about 57 percent of moms do so at Sharp Chula Vista.

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.

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Avatar for user 'barryjantz'

barryjantz | August 2, 2012 at 4:10 p.m. ― 4 years, 7 months ago

Curious -- the report seems to indicate Tri-City, Fallbrook and Paradise Valley at a lower percentage than Sharp Chula Vista. So, why does the range indicated in the article imply that SCV is the lowest in the range among areas hospitals?

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