TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A new study from the Center for Disease Control says more babies are being born in hospitals that encourage breastfeeding. However, less than five percent of American babies are born in hospitals that properly educate and encourage breastfeeding; Texas is less than nine percent.
Tyler's Mother Frances Hospital is just one of the hospitals in East Texas that has devoted a portion of the hospital specifically for breastfeeding.
Bonnie Tincher is a maternal-child clinical nurse. She says the hospital's "lactation center" educates new mothers on breastfeeding. "We do a lot of teaching on the benefits of breastfeeding. We hold prenatal classes and we actually have specialty classes on breastfeeding as a topic in itself," Tincher said.
A team of lactation consultants work with new mothers to get breastfeeding started within the first hour of the newborn's life. Tincher says breastfeeding facilitates proper growth and development newborns.
According to Tincher, it helps the digestive tracts; breastfeeding in particular gets the body ready to accept food. In some cases, breastfeeding can even save the baby's life.
Tincher said recent research shows that it decreases sudden infant death syndrome.
Abby Richardson, 28, gave birth to her daughter Kalli two weeks ago. She says breastfeeding was an easy decision to make.
"It's just the best for the baby for me," Richardson said, "It's natural."
Kalli was born three weeks early, and has been on oxygen ever since. That's why Richardson says breastfeeding is the "best choice" for her and Kalli.
"I just want the best because I want her to grow up strong and healthy and just be everything she can be," Richardson said.
Breastfeeding delivers more than just valuable nutrients; it also is an important way to develop a relationship between mom and baby.