We have always heard breastfeeding is best when it comes to newborns. Now a local hospital is going the extra mile to make sure new moms know the benefits. 7’s Christine Cruz shows us why experts are saying ‘Forget the Formula’.

WSVN — When baby Elizabeth made her entrance into the world, it was a lot earlier than her mom expected.

Jacqueline Bennett: “At 34 weeks, she was born via C-section.”

Her daughter weighed only a little over two pounds.

Jacqueline Bennett: “We knew she would be little and have an uphill battle.”

So the experts at Memorial Regional West told Jacqueline breast milk would be the best for her baby, especially since she’s a preemie.

Mary Roberts: “These babies need breast milk which is much easier to digest.”

In fact, the hospital is behind a national push by The Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics, encouraging new moms to choose breastfeeding over formula.

Mary Roberts: “Babies that are breast fed have better immunities, less illnesses, less childhood cancers and less obesity.”

Formula feeding has been on the rise as more women went back to work after childbirth.

The hospital wants to help change that.

Mary Roberts: “Educating moms that you can still work and breastfeed, you can still have a C-section and breastfeed.”

But as many new moms know, breastfeeding doesn’t always come easy.

So the first step is creating a bond between mother and baby the minute after giving birth.

Mary Roberts: “When the baby goes skin to skin, the baby smells the mother, senses the mother and then we begin this period of attachment.”

They offer classes with a lactation consultant.

The hospital also contracts with milk banks so preemies will have breast milk, even if mom is having trouble.

Jacqueline has been pumping so her baby can get all the benefits. She’s almost doubled her weight and is doing great.

Jacqueline Bennett: “It’s a bonding experience, it’s something you can’t even explain…it’s the best feeling in the world.”

Memorial still makes formula available for mom’s who need it. They also offer monthly support groups for new moms.

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