New Illinois law promotes breastfeeding

July 3, 2012 (CHICAGO)

Now, Illinois has a law to help push the practice in hospitals.

Under the measure, any hospital providing birthing services must have a policy to promote breastfeeding.

Hospitals will work with a pro breast-feeding arm of the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

New mothers would be given information about the benefits of breast feeding and will have support after giving birth.

Advocates are also hoping this new law will have an impact on women who never considered nursing their newborn, but the hospital would still help mothers use formula if it is medically necessary or what they prefer.

"If a mother chooses not to breastfeed, she will be supported in that decision, but at the same time, if she chooses to breastfeed, then she will get the help and education; she will get the care; she will be given instruments to help lead her to her goal," said Jo Ann Allen, a lactation consultant with University of Chicago Medicine.

The measure was signed into law last week but does not go into effect until January 2013.

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