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Women Want To Breastfeed But May Not Be Able To: Intentions And Reality Not Always The Same
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Women Want to Breastfeed But May Not Be Able To: Intentions And Reality Not Always the Same

New research being published in the journal Pediatrics reveals that breast feeding intentions may not always reflect the reality for many women. Roughly 85% of women told interviewers that they had planned to breastfeed their babies exclusively for the first three months of their lives were not able to do so for one reason or another. Just over thirty percent of the women managed to breastfeed as they had planned. Only a very small percentage of the women interviewed said that they wanted to breastfeed for only a short time.

Cria Perrine, a researcher who works with the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that the low numbers of long term breast feeding might stem from a lack of support rather than from a lack of desire. Citing recent news where women were assailed for choosing to breast feed their infant in public, Perrine said that a lack of nationally mandated family leave might also be a major stumbling block. The US is one of the nations with the worst parental/child support employment laws in the world.

The study looked at the women's stated intentions versus what became their reality, using previously obtained CDC data following a woman's pregnancy and then into the baby's first year of life. Both the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that babies be exclusively breastfed for at least six months if not longer. Some women choose to breast feed well into the child's walking age. The majority of the women in the study admitted that they did not breastfeed for as long as they had wanted to.

The problems arise from time in the hospital when a lack of trained staff may be one of the first steps in keeping the women from breastfeeding. One of the worst issues, according to the CDC, was the introduction of formula even if the mother asked that their baby not be supplemented at all. Hospitals should follow the recommended baby friendly steps including allowing and encouraging skin to skin contact with the mother and baby as well as keeping the baby in the room around the clock. The more that the baby is with the mother, the more milk she will produce and the more that they will bond with one another. The CDC found just over 140 hospitals in the nation that meet those criteria, allowing them to be called "baby friendly".


Street Talk

Amie, thanks for this article. With my son, breastfeeding did not go well; we stopped within the first week. Now my baby girl is less than two weeks old. We're trying bfing again. It's going better this time around, however, it has not yet been a walk in the park. We'll keep at it. Hopefully it will go well. Thanks again, Amie:)

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I hope you are able to breast feed, at least for a little while! I couldn't with my son, he was premature and my milk supply just would not cooperate. Out of three kids, I got to breast feed the middle one. It doesn't always work and it is really difficult sometimes. Best of luck!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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