Only a Third of U.S. Moms Who Plan to Breast-Feed Meet Goals

Formula-feeding at hospital is important barrier, study finds

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"Making what we think of as simple changes really can have a profound impact on what moms are able to do," she said. For example, not giving supplemental feeding is a "big deal," according to Roy. "The practice of supplemental feedings usually means that mom and baby are separated for long periods of time, and that's not good for breast-feeding. It means that someone might not be paying attention to when the baby wants to be fed, and by the time baby gets to mom, the baby is so hungry that he or she is wailing." And, starting a breast-feeding session with a baby who's ravenous and crying isn't the best situation for success.

Roy also said that many women don't ask questions if breast-feeding hurts. Instead, they may just stop. "Pain is not normal. It means something is wrong. Get help. And, expect that breast-feeding is going to take more time and energy than you expect," advised Roy.

Once breast-feeding has been established, Roy said that many mothers lose confidence in breast-feeding when their child is going through a growth spurt. They think they've lost their milk supply when, in fact, the baby has just drained the milk because he or she is feeding more to fuel growth.

More information

Learn more about breast-feeding from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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