Breastfeeding Support: Healthy Beginnings
The Santa Barbara County Breastfeeding Coalition presented its first ever Doctor of the Year award to local pediatrician Dr. Daniel R. Brennan for his work in helping to promote and support breastfeeding.
Research has shown that breastfed babies tend to be healthier. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least one year and, if possible, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months.
A child who is breastfed for a year tends to be sick only about half as often as a formula-fed child during the entire school-age years. Breastfed children tend to have keener eyesight, higher IQs, better teeth alignment and fewer ear infections and digestive upsets. Mothers who breastfed their babies lost pregnancy weight more quickly, had fewer female cancers and less osteoporosis later in life.
Despite these healthy outcomes, however, breast- feeding promotion from pediatricians is on the decline, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. But Dr. Brennan’s work is an exception to the trend.
Dr. Brennan, a native of Santa Barbara and a graduate of Dos Pueblos High School, is the chair of the Santa Barbara County Breastfeeding Coalition and a certified lactation counselor.
The Santa Barbara County Breastfeeding Coalition and The Lactation Center provide support and supplies to mothers and encourage them to breastfeed their babies for at least a year. Thanks to the hard work of these advocates, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital has a 98 percent start-up rate for breastfeeding among its maternity patients compared to a national rate of 75 percent.
Read other stories from the Winter 2010 Cottage Magazine here.