Exclusive Breastfeeding Not Always The Norm
Three San Diego county hospitals are among the best in California in getting women to exclusively breast feed their newborn babies. A new report from the California WIC Association lists breastfeeding rates at hospitals throughout the state. Hospitals in Imperail County did not fare as well, however.
The report shows Scripps Memorial in Encinitas, Scripps La Jolla, and Pomerado Hospital had more than 80 percent of women exclusively breastfeeding their babies. In contrast, Oceanside's Tri-City Medical Center had only 43 percent of new mothers exclusively breastfeeding.
Neonatologist Nancy Wight is with the San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition.
"It's hard to believe that Mother Nature intended half of our population of newborn babies to need formula," Dr. Wight said. "If that were true, we wouldn't be here as a species."
Imperial County hospitals had the lowest rates in California. At Pioneers Memorial in Brawley, less than 8 percent of new mothers fed babies breast milk alone.
The WIC report shows both of Imperial County's hospitals give formula to the vast majority of newborns.
Wight said breast milk is the only food most babies need in the first six months of life.