Brief Reports

Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 9-13

A Case Study on the Economic Impact of Optimal Breastfeeding

  • Ping MaAffiliated withDepartment of Community Health Sciences, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
  • , Marci Brewer-AslingAffiliated withDepartment of Community Health Sciences, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
  • , Jeanette H. MagnusAffiliated withDepartment of Community Health Sciences, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical MedicineInstitute for Health and Society, University of Oslo Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

To develop a framework, using Louisiana as a case study, for estimating the potential cost savings to individual states if families were able to meet current recommendations for breastfeeding. Using cost-analyses methods, cost savings, as well as, case and death reductions of infant illnesses and deaths on four selected infant diseases (respiratory tract infections, gastroenteritis, necrotizing enterocolitis, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) were calculated utilizing the most recent data of breastfeeding and low/very low birth weight rates in Louisiana. To estimate the incidence of a disease in exclusive breastfed infants and formula fed infants respectively, we used the following formula: x = s/br + 1 − b. Here “x” is the incidence rate of one disease in formula fed infants, “s” is the overall incidence of the disease, “b” is current breastfeeding rate and “r” is the odds ratios in favor of breastfeeding. A total of $216,103,368 could be saved and 18 infant deaths prevented, by these four conditions alone, if 90% of newborns in Louisiana were exclusive breastfed for the first 6 months of life ($186,371,125 in savings and 16 infant deaths prevented with 80% compliance). Increased rates of breastfeeding to the level of Healthy People 2020 goals and beyond would yield significant cost savings to Louisiana. Other US states can use the presented framework to demonstrate cost savings associated with breastfeeding promotion and support interventions in their respective states.

Keywords

Exclusive breastfeeding Cost-savings Mortality and morbidity prevention