MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH)-- Studies show when a mother chooses to breast feed, it can go a long way to preventing obesity as baby grows older.
The list of benefits include fewer ear infections and respiratory illnesses for babies.
MidState Medical Center in Meriden is among a growing number of hospitals committed to helping new moms breastfeed exclusively for the first six months, as recommended by the World Health Organization.
Moms giving birth at MidState Medical Center have another reason to celebrate.
MidState is now a baby-friendly birth facility, among six in the state, recognized by a global initiative sponsored by the World Health Organization and UNICEF.
"The baby friendly hospital initiative offers optimal infant feeding and best mother baby bonding," said Dawn Flohr.
To get it, the hospital implemented ten steps, starting with providing a strong support system.
Dawn Flohr is the lactation consultant.
"The nurses and the doctors that are taking care of them have all been educated on breastfeeding," said Flohr. "So that if the mother has a question and she may ask two or five people, and we're all saying the same thing."
That around the clock expertise was not available for Kim Angelillo when she gave birth to oldest daughter Emma.
"She had a tough time latching. I had infections, I kinda just threw in the towel," said Angelillo.
As a result her second child Abby was not breast fed. But at nearly three months old, youngest daughter Sophie is going strong.
"Even though it didn't come easy with Sophie nursing, I did run into complications, but instead of just giving up like I did with Emma, I knew who I could turn to," said Angelillo.
Also on the baby friendly list, skin to skin contact with Mom or Dad immediately after birth.
"It helps promote better feeding behaviors, helps to decrease stress," said Flohr.
To underscore that breast milk is the healthiest choice, mothers no longer go home with baby formula packed in their discharged bag, replaced with a cooler bag in which to store breast milk.
A more accepting and aware public encourages moms like Kim to continue on with the unrestricted breastfeeding.
"It's not as a big of a deal anymore. I have a bigger support system here at the hospital and at home, as well as at work," said Angelillo.
Kim says she is likely to continue to breast feed Sophie until she's one.
Under the Affordable Care Act, breast pumps are now being covered by insurance companies, as well as lactation services.
According to the CDC, Connecticut ranks third in the number of births at Baby-Friendly Facilities.
Route 196 is closed in East Hampton because of a multi-vehicle accident.
Police have identified a man who was shot in the head in New Haven Thursday, and was originally misidentified because of a fake ID in his possession.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman are directing U.S. and Connecticut flags to fly at half-staff on Saturday in honor of the 20 children and six adults who were killed a year ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
Officials at the University of Connecticut have begun work on a master plan to reshape the infrastructure at the school.
Up to a foot of snow is expected to drop on the state during this weekend's storm.
A snow and ice storm headed for the Northeast is expected to slow weekend travel and has utilities and airports on alert.
Farmington police say an officer shot and killed a man while responding to a fight between a father and his adult son.
As the snow heads our way for the weekend, we're dealing with some freezing temperatures out there. News 8 got advice from some professionals on how to keep you safe.
The treasurer of the Milford Rotary Club has been arrested on larceny charges on accusations he embezzled more than $200,000 from the Milford Rotary and two other groups.
The state Democratic Party is returning a $10,000 contribution from the chief executive of Comcast-Spectacor and owner of the Philadelphia Flyers, saying it has learned he could be a state contractor.