Postnatal Home Visiting: Shown to Reduce Infant Emergency Care Visits
A new Duke University study shows that even a few nurse visits to newborn babies’ homes can save lots of money due to a decrease in infant emergency care. The study looked at the results of a program called “Durham Connects” that provides visits by nurses to the homes of newborns. The infants served by the program had 50 percent less emergency hospital care. This is a significant cost savings considering the average investment was only $700 per child and emergency care can cost thousands of dollars. For every dollar spent on nurse home visiting for newborns, three dollars were saved in healthcare costs. This meant the program paid for itself within the infant’s first six months of life.
Lactation Consultation Increases Breastfeeding Rates Among Women Who Usually Resist
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have found in two separate trials that meetings with a lactation consultant encourages women typically resistant to breastfeeding to do so, at least for a few months, which is long enough to reap some of the important health benefits. The large majority of the women enrolled in the two trials were mothers who are known to have some of the lowest rates of breastfeeding. In both trials when the women were regularly encouraged, given instruction and support for breastfeeding they were more than four times as likely to exclusively breastfeed their infant at one month and nearly three times more likely to do so at three months, compared with the control group.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months, followed by continued breastfeeding for one year or longer as other foods are introduced. However, fewer than 75 percent of U.S. babies are breastfed at all and fewer than half are still being breastfed at six months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Health benefits of breastfeeding can include lower obesity rates, reduced incidence of ear infections and stomach illness and, for mothers, a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and pre-menopausal breast cancer. Read more about this study here.