Howard General promotes breast feeding for new moms

COLUMBIA, Md - Shhhh.

Madeline Grace is sleeping.

This newest Howard County resident came into the world just this week.

And she's going to demand the best.

So according to studies in the by the Centers for Disease Control, The World Health Organization, The American Academy of Pediatrics and a ton of others her best start in life will come from breast feeding.

 "I knew about the advantages of bf convenience and economy is definitely given but I knew that there were a lot of health benefits for me and the babies so that was my intent was to breast feed all the time. "  New Mom Angela Bullen says.

The benefits of breast feeding is part of the reason why Howard County Hospital is stopping the general practice of giving new mothers a gift basket with infant formula samples inside provided by formula makers.

The hospital is one of 90 U. S. hospitals that is taking part in the Best Fed Beginnings program where they promote exclusive breastfeeding for new mothers.

"We just want to support them the best we can our goal is to make sure all our babies are healthy families are healthy and continue to be part of our community here. " Howard General Director of Women's and Children's Services Sheila Donahue says.

To promote this the hospital has lactation counselors who work with mothers to show them what they need to know so they can breast feed.

Bullen says when she had her first child she had issues with breast feeding but with that help she's found that it works for her.

"I benefited greatly from the resources the hospital had on hand a lactation consultant and the equipment and information and if it wasn't for that I wouldn't have been able to figure out how to breast feed my kids." Bullen says.

The makers of infant formula also agree that breast feeding is the best thing for babies.

But the International Formula Council says that formula is a viable option for parents and should not be dismissed by hospitals or anyone.

And there are many reasons for this

First responsibilities at work or school

Some women can't produce enough milk to feed their child.

The cost associated with buying breast pumps and other tools

And for many women they just don't have the time to do it.

Howard General says they're by promoting breast feeding they're not dismissing the needs for some moms to use formula.

"We want to support families in what ever they suppose to do so absolutely if a family feels that breast feeding is not for them that's fine we'll take care of formula and there could be a baby who formula is the best thing for and that's what we'll do as well we want to make sure that we do what is best for the family and the infant. " Donahue says.

The hospital says it is not going to deny formula to any new mom who wants it.

But by promoting breast feeding, they say they're trying to insure that every infant that is born in the hospital will get the best start possible.

If they have continued success in this effort the hospital could get a special honor a designation from the world health organization as one of only a handful of baby friendly hospitals in the entire country.

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