I have a sleeping baby in my lap, so you'll forgive me if I have a one track mind.
Yesterday we met with a nurse who let us know that in Sweden, they have now set minimums for skin to skin contact between mom and babies during hospital stays. If you don't do the minimum, you pay the hospital bill. This morning, in my first perusal around the internet in a few days, I see that Mayor Bloomberg is trying to find ways of encouraging new mother's to breastfeed.
A note on research regarding babies and various practices in infancy: Babies are a lot of work. I realize I'm preaching to the choir on this, as many of my readers have successfully raised quite a few children, but it's true. Many of the practices that show lots of benefits for babies (skin to skin contact, breastfeeding, etc) take even more time than the alternatives. While I believe these things are good for babies on their own, all data collected on these practices will be complicated by the fact that parents who engage in them tend to have more time, resources, and support than those who don't. Pushing these practices on those who are already particularly stressed may not have as profound an outcome as it did in the study, as the groups went from self selecting to random.
Something to think about for the policy makers.
Sorry, I've been reading over a lot of hospital literature and getting mildly annoyed. I think that means the pain medication has worn off. Nurse!