Enrolled HCR 18: Encouraging hospitals and birthing facilities in the state to participate in the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and to support breastfeeding; and recognizing the benefits of breastfeeding.

00 Enrolled HCR 18                                                                                                         
01 Encouraging hospitals and birthing facilities in the state to participate in the Baby-Friendly                          
02 Hospital Initiative and to support breastfeeding; and recognizing the benefits of breastfeeding.                        
03                                         _______________                                                                 
04 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                             
05      WHEREAS breastfeeding provides unique health benefits to babies, including                                       
06 nutrients that support infant brain development and lower rates of illness and disease; and                             
07      WHEREAS numerous studies demonstrate that children who have been breastfed                                       
08 have fewer and less serious illnesses than children who have not been breastfed; and                                    
09      WHEREAS breastfeeding lowers the rate of acute otitis media by 40 percent, which                                 
10 provides economic benefits to Alaskans by reducing the costs of medical care; and                                       
11      WHEREAS breastfeeding reduces obesity over the lifetime of an infant by 50                                       
12 percent, saving Alaska residents approximately $229,000,000 a year; and                                                 
13      WHEREAS children who have been breastfed are less depressed, anxious, and                                        
14 withdrawn, and experience fewer learning problems, fewer diagnoses of behavioral health and                             
15 conduct disorders, lower rates of delinquent, aggressive, and antisocial behavior, and a lower                          
01 need for mental health services; and                                                                                    
02      WHEREAS the immediate skin-to-skin contact in breastfeeding enhances the                                         
03 emotional connection between the mother and infant that continues through the child's                                   
04 adolescent years and reduces the susceptibility of a person to prostitution and incarceration;                          
05 and                                                                                                                     
06      WHEREAS breastfeeding for a total of 24 months over the mother's lifetime                                        
07 decreases the occurrence of premenopausal breast cancer by 50 percent, eliminating an                                   
08 average of $52,560,000 of medical care costs in the state each year; and                                                
09      WHEREAS breastfeeding decreases the incidence of insulin-dependent diabetes                                      
10 mellitus by 40 percent over an infant's lifetime, saving Alaska residents approximately                                 
11 $321,785,600 a year; and                                                                                                
12      WHEREAS breastfeeding offers numerous health benefits to new mothers by                                          
13 reducing the mother's risk of acquiring breast and ovarian cancers and postpartum depression;                           
14 and                                                                                                                     
15      WHEREAS breastfeeding provides economic benefits to families by decreasing the                                   
16 need to purchase infant formula; and                                                                                  
17      WHEREAS, based on the above health advantages, breastfeeding lowers the cost of                                  
18 medical care for Alaskans; and                                                                                          
19      WHEREAS studies have shown that the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative can                                        
20 decrease the likelihood of child abuse or neglect and a person's being at risk for sex                                  
21 trafficking; and                                                                                                        
22      WHEREAS the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative crosses state and national                                         
23 boundaries in an effort to encourage and recognize hospitals that offer an optimal level of care                        
24 for infant feeding; and                                                                                                 
25      WHEREAS the defined term "baby-friendly" may be used only by maternity services                                  
26 that have adopted assessment standards for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative; and                                   
27      WHEREAS hospitals and birthing facilities receive and retain the baby-friendly                                   
28 designation by implementing the evidence-based program, Ten Steps to Successful                                         
29 Breastfeeding; and                                                                                                      
30      WHEREAS babies born in hospitals and birthing facilities that follow the Ten Steps                               
31 to Successful Breastfeeding program have significantly higher rates of initiating and                                   
01 extending breastfeeding than the national average;                                                                      
02      BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature recognizes the unique physical,                                 
03 mental health, economic, and societal benefits that breastfeeding provides to babies, mothers,                          
04 families, and communities; and be it                                                                                    
05      FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature strongly encourages                                           
06 hospitals and birthing facilities in the state to receive the baby-friendly designation by                              
07 implementing the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding program.