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Ochsner J. 2008 Fall;8(3):146-50.

Breast-feeding and Vitamin D Supplementation Rates in the Ochsner Health System.


Breast-feeding imparts many benefits to both mothers and infants. Because of these numerous recognized benefits, there has been an effort to increase breast-feeding rates nationwide; increasing breast-feeding rates was one of the goals of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Healthy People 2010 initiative. This study examined the breast-feeding rate at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation by conducting a retrospective chart review of patients aged 0-12 months who visited any branch of the Ochsner hospital system. Our results indicate that the rate of initiation of breast-feeding for children followed at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation is 66.3%. However, as breast-feeding rates rise, there is concern that there may be a resurgence of rickets, a disease caused by the deficiency of vitamin D. Currently the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that exclusively breast-fed infants receive vitamin D supplementation starting within the first 2 months of life. We have therefore initiated a clinical trial to determine whether vitamin D supplementation is required to prevent rickets in breast-fed children. In the course of conducting this study, we have gathered additional data regarding the patterns of breast-feeding and of vitamin D supplementation for babies born at Ochsner.


Breast-feeding; rickets; vitamin D


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