The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life because of the well-known health benefits for both infants and mothers. Women who start with the intention of feeding their babies exclusively breast milk but then supplement it with formula while still in the hospital are nearly three times more likely to stop breastfeeding within two months, according to one study.
California has made significant progress in recent years promoting exclusive breastfeeding in hospitals, but many women aren’t sticking with it. All but a small fraction of women start breastfeeding while in the hospital, but nearly one-third introduce their babies to formula before leaving, according to data from the California Department of Public Health.
For more, read Anna Gorman’s coverage.