OBJECTIVE: To examine trends in the prevalence of hospitals and birth centers (hereafter, hospitals) distributing infant formula discharge packs to breastfeeding mothers in the United States from 2007 to 2013.
METHODS: The Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care survey is administered every 2 years to all hospitals with registered maternity beds in the United States. A Web- or paper-based questionnaire was distributed and completed by the people most knowledgeable about breastfeeding-related hospital practices. We examined the distribution of infant formula discharge packs to breastfeeding mothers from 2007 to 2013 by state and hospital characteristics.
RESULTS: The percentage of hospitals distributing infant formula discharge packs to breastfeeding mothers was 72.6% in 2007 and 31.6% in 2013, a decrease of 41 percentage points. In 2007, there was only 1 state (Rhode Island) in which <25% of hospitals distributed infant formula discharge packs to breastfeeding mothers, whereas in 2013 there were 24 such states and territories. Distribution declined across all hospital characteristics examined, including facility type, teaching versus nonteaching, and size (annual number of births).
CONCLUSIONS: The distribution of infant formula discharge packs to breastfeeding mothers declined markedly from 2007 to 2013. Discontinuing the practice of distributing infant formula discharge packs is a part of optimal, evidence-based maternity care to support mothers who want to breastfeed.
- Accepted March 17, 2015.
- Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics