Cost Benefits of Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk
Human milk feedings are consistently associated with improved health outcomes and reduced healthcare costs. In this presentation, we will discuss two cost analyses of breastfeeding, each detailing specific health outcomes and savings if more mothers breastfed exclusively for at least six months. One study projects savings on a national level while the other calculates savings for an individual state. Such information can be valuable in discussions with policy makers on all levels.
We will also look at the economics of lactation from the woman’s perspective. This path will lead us to ask, what costs does a mother incur if she is expressing milk for a hospitalized infant? And how do the costs involved in breast pumping compare to the costs of artificial infant feedings in the hospital? A central theme in the overall discussion is the value of human milk and the need for systematic, comprehensive support for all lactating women.
- Nursing - 3.0 Contact Hours
- Dietitian - 3.0 CPE Credits
- Review three recent cost analyses related to breastfeeding and the use of human milk.
- Discuss direct and indirect costs associated with disease states reduced by use of human milk.
- Evaluate maternal costs of breast pumping for hospitalized infants.
- Appreciate the influence of economic analyses on practice, policy and outcomes.
Section One Objectives
- Identify ten disease states of infants reduced by breastfeeding.
- Discuss economic factors considered in Bartick and Reinhold’s cost analysis.
- Identify factors having the greatest impact in their results.
- Identify economic factors not included in this study that could affect economic analyses of lactation.
Section Two Objectives
- Identify the three variables factored into this costs analysis of initial human milk production.
- Compare the costs of human milk production to that of alternative feeds in the NICU.
- Consider cost benefits of pumping beyond the first month after delivery.
Section Three Objectives
- Discuss the value of analyzing the benefits of breastfeeding on a state level.
- Identify major variables influencing the cost analysis of breastfeeding in Louisiana.