Breastfeeding provides significant health benefits for infants and mothers. However, the United States continues to fall short of the breastfeeding goals set by the Healthy People 2010 initiative. The American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology have policy statements supporting breastfeeding that reflect recent advancements in understanding the mechanisms underlying the benefits of breastfeeding and in the clinical management of breastfeeding. Despite popular belief, there are few contraindications to breastfeeding. Providing maternal support and structured antenatal and postpartum breastfeeding education are the most effective means of achieving breastfeeding success. In addition, immediate skin-to-skin contact between mother and infant and early initiation of breastfeeding are shown to improve breastfeeding outcomes. When concerns about lactation arise during newborn visits, the infant must be carefully assessed for jaundice, weight loss, and signs of failure to thrive. If a work-up is required, parents should be supported in their decision to breastfeed. Certified lactation consultants can provide valuable support and education to patients. Physicians should educate working women who breastfeed about the availability of breast pumps and the proper storage of expressed breast milk. Physicians must be aware of their patients' lactation status when prescribing medications, as some may affect milk supply or be unsafe for breastfeeding infants. Through support and encouragement of breastfeeding, national breastfeeding goals can be met.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In July, 2003, a cross-sectional survey was conducted by Heinz Canada, on a nationally representative sample of mothers with infants aged three to 12 months. The surveys mailed to new mothers consisted of 1) a questionnaire to as-sess demographic information and 2) a four day food diary, providing dietary data for nearly 2,951 infants. The initiation rate of breastfeeding was 73% for study infants. At three months, 81% of the infants received complementary foods (mostly cereal, fruits, and vegetables, but some had also been introduced to meats, dairy products, and mixed dishes). These data suggest a current pattern for the early introduction of complementary foods, some by three months and the ma-jority by six months of age. The World Health Organization (WHO) and Health Canada now recommend exclusive breastfeeding until six months of age. The impact this recommendation may have on the feeding pattern of Canadian in-fants remains to be seen.
The Open Nutrition Journal 07/2009; 3(1). DOI:10.2174/1874288200903010011
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This research documented racial/ethnic differences in breastfeeding duration among mothers from seven diverse racial/ethnic groups in rural and urban areas of the United States that initiated breastfeeding among income and categorically eligible WIC participants.
Using data from the Longitudinal 9-Month-Preschool Restricted-Use data file of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort, this research first assessed racial/ethnic differences in breastfeeding initiation and duration, maternal and child health characteristics, social service usage, and sociodemographic characteristics. Next, breastfeeding survivorship and Cox proportional hazards models were estimated to assess potential racial/ethnic disparities in breastfeeding duration once these control variables were accounted for in multiple variable models.
Breastfeeding initiation rates and breastfeeding durations of 6 months were lower among WIC-eligible mothers compared with all mothers. WIC-eligible, foreign-born Mexican-Origin Hispanic (FBMOH) mothers were most likely to breastfeed for 6 months. Breastfeeding duration rates dropped quickly after 4 months of duration among WIC-eligible mothers that initiated. Two crossover patterns in breastfeeding durations were noted among 1) FBMOH and non-Hispanic Black mothers and 2) Asian and Native American mothers. A FBMOH breastfeeding duration advantage was noted compared with non-Hispanic White mothers once all control variables were included in the Cox proportional hazard models. No other racial/ethnic disparities in breastfeeding duration were noted.
More attention to educational programs and broad forms of support as part of WIC are needed to help reach the breastfeeding duration goals of Healthy People 2010 and continued support of the Loving Support Peer Counseling Program may serve as an ideal policy for local WIC offices.
Women s Health Issues 05/2011; 21(5):374-82. DOI:10.1016/j.whi.2011.03.002 · 1.61 Impact Factor
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