THURSDAY, Oct. 13, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on the rates of breastfeeding among newborns in the normal nursery at a single medical center, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics, held from Oct. 7 to 11 in Anaheim, California.

John Wang, D.O., from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues compared breastfeeding rates between neonates at LAC+USC Medical Center Newborn Nursery in the prepandemic period (born prior to April 2020; 913 infants) and during the pandemic (born from April 2020 to April 2021; 763 infants).

The researchers found that while there were no significant differences in the demographics between the two cohorts, there was an 11 percent decrease in the rate of exclusive breastfeeding and a 4 percent decrease in any breastfeeding during the COVID-19 pandemic period.

“Although a task force was implemented in our newborn nursery immediately after this study to return breastfeeding rates back to normal for our communities, many mothers and newborns missed the opportunity to benefit from the effects of breastfeeding during the pandemic,” coauthor Amy Yeh, M.D., also from the Keck School of Medicine, said in a statement.

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