Monday, December 17th, 2012
An innovative new program in New York City is offering nurses special training to offer support and guidance to low-income, first-time moms who may be uneducated on how to give their babies–and themselves–the crucial care that can keep them healthy and thriving. The New York Times reports:
“The program, which was started in upstate New York in the 1970s and has been adopted in 42 states, is one of the rare public initiatives that have shown consistent and rigorously tested benefits for the mothers and children, as well as significant savings for taxpayers.
In different studies on different demographic groups, women in the program have had fewer premature deliveries, smoked less during pregnancy, spent less time on public assistance, waited longer to have subsequent children, had fewer arrests and convictions, and maintained longer contact with their baby’s fathers. Their children have had fewer language delays and reported less abuse and neglect, slightly higher I.Q. scores, fewer arrests and convictions by age 19, and less depression and anxiety.
A 2011 study of New York City’s Nurse-Family Partnership program, which currently has 91 nurses serving 1,940 families, projected that by the time a child in the program turns 12, the city, state and federal governments will have saved a combined $27,895, with additional savings thereafter — more than twice the program’s cost per child. The study was conducted by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation using data from the Nurse-Family Partnership’s research at three locations, then extrapolated to New York.
This fall, I attended a dozen home visits, all in the Bronx, with five nurses — three from the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, which contracts with the city to provide service in the Bronx, and two, including Ms. Schmidt, with the health department’s Targeted Citywide Initiative, which tackles the most at-risk cases. The nurses’ styles and backgrounds varied; the families’ needs and challenges even more so. Each mother participated voluntarily and at no cost.
The problems were many: violence on the street, abuse in the women’s past, illness, anger, obesity, insecure housing or financial circumstances. Most of the women had the poor luck to have been born in poverty. Like their middle-class counterparts, none came into the world knowing how to raise a baby.”
Image: Young mother and baby, via Shutterstock
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Monday, July 16th, 2012
A new study has found that breastfeeding–even for just six months–not only can help new mothers lose weight after giving birth, but it can also help women keep weight off for decades. From MSNBC.com:
Researchers found that women who had children tended to have higher body mass indexes later in life than did women with no children; however, the researchers were able to associate every six months of breast-feeding with a 0.22 drop in BMIs among the women in their 50s and early 60s.
This translates to a 1 percent drop in BMIs for every six months of breast-feeding, the researchers said.
“We already know breast-feeding is best for babies, and this study adds to a growing body of evidence that the benefits extend to the mother as well, even 30 years after she’s given birth,” said study researcher Dr. Kirsty Bobrow, a researcher at the University of Oxford.
Image: Mother breastfeeding newborn, via Shutterstock.
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Thursday, June 21st, 2012
A new study has found that new mothers who either read or write blogs report feeling less lonely, isolated, and stressed than mothers who don’t. The study, performed by researchers at Penn State University and Brigham Young University, found that the emotional support mothers get from blogging benefits them in many areas of life.
“It looks like blogging might be helping these women as they transition into motherhood because they may begin to feel more connected to their extended family and friends, which leads them to feel more supported,” said Brandon T. McDaniel, graduate student in human development and family studies at Penn State in a statement “That potentially is going to spill out into other aspects of their well being, including their marital relationship with their partner, the ways that they’re feeling about their parenting stress, and eventually into their levels of depression.”
Social networking, including Facebook, did not appear to have the same benefits as blogging, the study found. And blogging, though, helpful, was not an antidote to the stress of new motherhood.
“We’re not saying that those who end up feeling more supported all of a sudden no longer have stresses, they’re still going to have those stressful moments you have as a parent,” said McDaniel. “But because they’re feeling more supported, their thoughts and their feelings about that stress might change, and they begin to feel less stressed about those things.”
Image: Woman at a computer, via Shutterstock.
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Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
Most mothers who say they plan to breastfeed do so for a shorter period of time than they anticipate, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MSNBC has more:
Roughly half of the women in the new study said before they delivered they planned to breast-feed exclusively for at least three months, the CDC researchers report Monday in Pediatrics. But only a third of those women actually achieved their goal.
“The one that shocks me is the fact that 42 percent stopped in the first month,” lead author Cria Perrine, an epidemiologist in the CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, tells msnbc.com. And about a third of those women had abandoned plans to exclusively breast-feed by the time they took their baby home from the hospital.
“To me, this isn’t about the individual women,” Perrine says. “This to me says we as a society are not supporting mothers to feed their infants the way they want to.”
Image: Breastfeeding mom, via Shutterstock.
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Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a report stating that 80 percent of American hospitals supplement breastfeeding with formula when not medically necessary, which undermines recommendations from the American Academy and Pediatrics, the CDC, and the World Health Organization, all of which encourage that mothers exclusively breastfeed for the first six months of a baby’s life.
Fewer than 4 percent of American hospitals offer new mothers adequate support services to encourage breastfeeding, the report stated. Many hospitals send mothers home with free samples of formula and bottles provided by formula makers, and many fail to maintain a lactation support staff to help mothers learn to breastfeed comfortably. From Boston.com:
The report comes a day after the announcement of new federal guidelines that mandates insurance companies provide free breast pumps and lactation support to nursing mothers after they leave the hospital.
Breast milk, which is rich in antibodies, helps reduce the risk of childhood ear infections and diarrhea and has been linked to a lower risk of childhood obesity — possibly due to the nutritional content of the milk or the fact that breastfed infants are better able to self-regulate their intake compared with those fed from a bottle. Breastfeeding mothers enjoy a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
(image via: http://blessedmom.hubpages.com)
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