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Sharp Mary Birch Launches New Effort To Boost Breastfeeding

San Diego's Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women has been selected to participate in a national program designed to increase breastfeeding rates.

— San Diego's Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women will take part in a new nationwide effort to promote breastfeeding. The hospital is one of only five in California that's been selected for the program.

The goal of the Best Fed Beginnings program is to boost breastfeeding rates. Participating hospital staff will learn a variety of evidence-based methods aimed at achieving that goal.

Dr. Nancy Wight will help implement the program at Sharp Mary Birch. She said research shows the single biggest barrier to breastfeeding is a lack of support in the hospital.

"And part of that is unnecessary supplementation; mothers who are just not exclusively breastfeeding, but whose babies are given supplementary formula, which kind of leads on a downhill slope to only formula," Wight pointed out.

Wight explained more than 90 percent of women who deliver at Sharp Mary Birch breastfeed their babies, but only about half do so exclusively. She says that number is way too low.

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