6 Breastfeeding Tips for Moms Who Want to Stay the Course
June 4, 2012 — Many mothers who want to breastfeed exclusively for three months or longer fall short of meeting this goal, a new study shows.
More than 85% of new mothers stated they intended to breastfeed for three months or longer, but just 32.4% met their mark. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that mothers breastfeed exclusively for about the first six months of their infant’s life because of health benefits for mother and baby.
According to the new report, 42% of mothers who intended to breastfeed for three months or longer stopped in the first month, and 15% stopped before they even checked out of the hospital. The study was designed to see which steps in the “Baby-Friendly” hospital initiative help mothers meet their breastfeeding goals. This 10-step initiative was developed by the WHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund to help hospitals support breastfeeding.
Moms who were most likely to meet their goals were married and had given birth to other children.
They also started to breastfeed within an hour of birth, and their babies were less likely to be given formula or pacifiers during the hospital stay. Of these three findings, breastfeeding exclusively while in the hospital without giving supplemental formula was the most significant factor in reaching breastfeeding goals.
By contrast, mothers who were obese, smoked, or planned to breastfeed for longer durations were less likely to meet their goals.
The findings appear in the July 2012 issue of Pediatrics.
WebMD spoke with study researcher Cria G. Perrine, PhD, and several breastfeeding experts to find out what else mothers can do to stay their course if they select to breastfeed.
Moms do better when babies sleep in the same room as mother as opposed to in a nursery, states Perrine. She is an epidemiologist at the CDC in Atlanta.
“Breastfeeding in the first hour is likely to have an influence on whether it goes well,” states Barbara Holmes. She is a lactation consultant at New York University Langone School of Medicine.
Don’t Swaddle the Baby Right Away
Instead, “place the baby on the mother’s chest and encourage skin-to-skin contact,” she says. “Babies want to suckle and can find the nipple on their own many times.”
Breastfeeding is not for every mom. “We certainly want her to make a decision that works for her,” Holmes says. “If she is saying, ‘I changed my mind. I thought I would like it, and I don’t,’ of course, we give her formula,” Holmes says. But “if she says, ‘I am not sure. I do not think the baby is getting enough milk,’” I say, ‘Let’s look at how many wet diapers the baby has, evaluate her weight, and make a chart.’”
“If you are having trouble after leaving the hospital, speak to your pediatrician or another resource in the community,” states Sahira Long, MD. She is a pediatrician at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and runs the Children’s National East of the River Lactation Support Center. “Babies’ first well visit is often several days to a week after coming home from the hospital, so this may be a good time to help women troubleshoot any breastfeeding issues they are having and meet their goals.
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Submited at Monday, June 4th, 2012 at 12:00 pm on Uncategorized by hilman
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