Many new mothers report no physician advice on infant sleep position, breastfeeding.
BETHESDA, Md., -- Many new mothers do not receive advice from physicians on aspects of infant care such as sleep position, breastfeeding, immunization and pacifier use, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Health care practitioner groups have issued recommendations and guidelines on all these aspects of infant care, based on research which has found that certain practices can prevent disease and even save lives.
The study authors surveyed a nationally representative sample of more than 1,000 new mothers, inquiring about infant care advice they received from doctors, nurses, family members and the news media.
Roughly 20 percent of mothers said they did not receive advice from their doctors regarding current recommendations on breastfeeding or on placing infants to sleep on their backs—a practice long proven to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). More than 50 percent of mothers reported they received no advice on where their infants should sleep. Room-sharing with parents—but not bed-sharing—is the recommended practice for safe infant sleep.
The study appeared in Pediatrics and was conducted by researchers at Boston Medical Center, Boston University, and Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
African American women, Hispanic women and first time mothers were more likely to receive advice from their physicians than were white women and mothers of two or more children. (SOURCE: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH)
Subscribe to our free newsletter and get articles and tips about your personal interests in your own inbox every week.SUBSCRIBE