The Quiet Revolution: Breastfeeding Transformed With the Use of Breast Pumps

Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 06/2011; 101(8):1356-9. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300136
Source: PubMed


A quiet revolution has been taking place in the feeding of US infants in the form of women using electric breast pumps. This revolution in milk expression may be a boon for both mothers and infants if more infants are fed human milk or if they receive human milk for a longer period. Milk expression may also be problematic for mothers, and it may be particularly problematic for infants if they are fed too much, fed milk of an inappropriate composition, or fed milk that is contaminated. As a result, the time has come to determine the prevalence of exclusive and periodic breast milk expression and the consequences of these behaviors for the health of mothers and their infants.

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    • "The use of breast pumps was associated with mastitis, although this fact may be a consequence rather than a cause, since pumping is frequently recommended to reduce breast pressure and diminish bacterial load inside the mammary ducts during mastitis [14]. Too much expression may also result in pain from breast overstretching while improper use of an electric pump can lead to mastitis, trauma, and nipple wounds [1,54]. "
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