June 6th, 2012

Breastfeeding goals: Over half of new moms miss the mark

By Stephanie Hanes
Christian Science Monitor

This in from the American Academy of Pediatrics:  Although the vast majority (85 percent) of new moms say they intend to breastfeed their babies for at least three months, two thirds of them (or half of all moms) fail to meet their goals. A full 15 percent of these breastfeeding-intentioned moms stop nursing before they even leave the hospital.

The stats are part of an article in today’s “Pediatrics,” the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and are based on monthly questionnaires completed by thousands of moms between 2005 and 2007 as part of a joint Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration study.

While there are a number of trends that one can sift out of the data – mothers who were married were more likely to achieve their exclusive breastfeeding intentions while moms who were obese or smoked were less likely to do so – some of the biggest indicators of breastfeeding success were connected to what happened at the hospital.

According to the all the information about breastfeeding out there, it’s clear that nursing soon after birth – preferably with the help of someone who knows how the whole thing works (not as obvious as you might think, I tell you) – is hugely important to establish a successful breastfeeding relationship. So is avoiding formula.

But that’s not the way it often works in maternity wards.  According to the advocacy group Public Citizen, nearly two-thirds of US hospitals still give out free formula samples to new moms.

Read more: http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Family/Modern-Parenthood/2012/0604/Breastfeeding-goals-Over-half-of-new-moms-miss-the-mark

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