To the editor:
At a recent medical conference in Cape Girardeau, over 100 participants learned about the evidence-based benefits of breast milk and the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a nationwide effort to promote breast feeding. On its Web site, babyfriendlyusa.org, I was surprised to learn that none of the area hospitals had achieved the designation of being a baby-friendly hospital, which is not to say these hospitals are unfriendly to babies. This initiative outlines 10 steps for hospitals and provides information on how to apply for a certificate of intent.
We can always do better as health care providers to promote successful breast feeding, but with all the advertising dollars spent by local hospitals, one would think that one of these hospitals would pursue this worthwhile designation, and effort which would require courage on the part of administrators and staff. I would encourage all expectant families and hospital staffs to visit this Web site to learn more about how our hospitals can become baby-friendly hospitals.
JAMES A KINDER III, Community Health and Emergency Services Inc., Cairo, Ill.