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Contact: Kathryn Ryan, 914-740-2100,
Is the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative Improving Infant Health and Breastfeeding Outcomes?

New Rochelle, NY, August 15, 2016—The 10-step Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), aimed at promoting breastfeeding initiation and exclusivity to improve early infant health in the U.S. is having a positive impact on some measures, but others have proven more challenging to influence or assess. A comprehensive analysis of studies evaluating the effectiveness of the BFHI and directions for future research are presented in an article published in Breastfeeding Medicine, the official journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Breastfeeding Medicine website until September 15, 2016.

Coauthors Allison Munn, Susan Newman, Martina Mueller, Shannon Phillips, and Sarah Taylor, College of Nursing, Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston), report that, in general, the evidence supports a positive impact of the BFHI on breastfeeding initiation, exclusivity, and duration. In the article “The Impact in the United States of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative on Early Infant Health and Breastfeeding Outcomes,” the researchers identify the BFHI steps that are the most difficult to implement. The authors also emphasize the need for additional studies in several areas: to examine the impact of the initiative on women living in rural areas and the southeastern U.S.; to understand how Baby-Friendly practices contribute to breastfeeding decisions by assessing mothers’ experiences and perceptions of them; and to study the impact of the BFHI on late premature infants.

“This is a sophisticated, real-world analysis,” says Arthur I. Eidelman, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Breastfeeding Medicine.

About the Journal
Breastfeeding Medicine, the official journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, is an authoritative, peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary journal published 10 times per year online with open access options and in print. The Journal publishes original scientific papers, reviews, and case studies on a broad spectrum of topics in lactation medicine. It presents evidence-based research advances and explores the immediate and long-term outcomes of breastfeeding, including the epidemiologic, physiologic, and psychological benefits of breastfeeding. Tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Breastfeeding Medicine website.

About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Journal of Women's HealthChildhood Obesity, and Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News) was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.