Posts Tagged ‘ new moms ’

CDC: Hospitals Do Not Support Breastfeeding Enough

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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Study: Breastfeeding Problems Tied to Depression Risk

Friday, July 29th, 2011

New mothers who have a hard time breastfeeding are at greater risk to suffer symptoms of postpartum depression 2 months after giving birth and should be screened for depression, a new study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology reports.  Of nearly 2,600 mothers who breastfed, almost eight percent were positive for major depression two months postpartum, reporting symptoms including strong feelings of sadness, anxiety or helplessness that do not improve after a week and start to interfere with daily life.

The risk of depression was higher among women who had breast pain or generally “disliked” breastfeeding during the baby’s first weeks of life, Reuters reports.

Depression during pregnancy was not factored into the study, and the lead researcher said further investigation is needed to tease out how much of the depressed women’s symptoms can be directly attributed to breastfeeding difficulties:

Whether the breastfeeding difficulties are to blame is not clear, according to lead researcher Stephanie Watkins, an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

A limit of the study, she told Reuters Health, is that there was no information on whether mothers had suffered depression during pregnancy.

So it could be that women who were already depressed had a tougher time with breastfeeding.

“Everything is harder when you’re depressed,” said Dr. Alison Stuebe, an obstetrician/gynecologist at UNC who also worked on the study. “It may be that some women were depressed during pregnancy, and that made breastfeeding harder.”

(image via: http://trialx.com/)

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