NEW YORK (AP) — Health officials say more hospitals are encouraging new mothers to breast-feed.
A new report found more than two-thirds of hospitals in 2013 helped women start breast-feeding within an hour after birth. That's up from 44 percent six years earlier.
Roughly 90 percent of hospitals teach moms breast-feeding techniques and how to recognize and respond to infant feeding cues.
But only about a quarter refrain from giving infants breast milk alternatives — like formula or water — unless medically necessary.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed about 2,700 hospitals for the report released Tuesday.
Overall, about 80 percent of U.S. babies breast-feed, at least briefly.
CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns