Breastfeeding is the most confusing thing for today’s new mums
This is the main finding of a study conducted on behalf of Philips AVENT for
Breastfeeding Awareness Week, 21-27 June 2010
How to breastfeed is most likely to leave new mums feeling confused, a study revealed yesterday.
Four in ten mums struggle to get to grips with breastfeeding their newborn, thanks to confusion about how to tell if their baby is getting enough milk, whether the ‘latch on’ is correct and how often they should breastfeed.
The age at which they should start feeding a child solids leaves 36 per cent of first time mums puzzled, while another third admit to being baffled about the right time to potty train their youngster.
How long a baby should sleep for and how many layers of clothing to put on a newborn also leave many mums wondering what to do.
This is also confirmed by the fact that only 30 per cent of mums breastfed without any problems, while 22 per cent succeeded after an initial struggle, yet over 33 per cent reluctantly had to stop breastfeeding altogether. The majority (55 per cent) indicated that they would have liked more advice when trying to breastfeed at first.
‘’Surrounding yourself with a good support network of family, friends and healthcare professionals means that whenever you are worried about what you should be doing, you can speak to someone else for reassurance’’ added Deneice Harwin.
The study of 3,000 mums revealed that a staggering 87 per cent of mums worried that they were doing something wrong during the first few months and years of their child’s life.
And a quarter put the confusion down to getting different advice from people and not knowing who to listen to. It also indicates that new mums are most likely to listen to their own mothers with 40 per cent taking the advice from them. But when it comes to breastfeeding 50 per cent of them turn to their midwife for counsel.
The research also indicated that more than 60 per cent of mums wish they had more general support when they had their first child. Four in ten mums even joined a mother and baby group to try and get some peer support.
“This is so true” added Vicki Scott, Philips AVENT’s feeding and wellbeing advisor. “ Today’s busy mums may find it difficult to cope with their new lifestyle. Often living far from their families they do not have anyone to turn to, this is why having the right support from other mums and/or a midwife can make a real difference. Getting to grips with feeding is certainly one of the main concerns. Breastfeeding is a technique and as such has to be learned. The right advice from a midwife and/or a healthcare advisor helps mums be more confident and relaxed about feeding their baby. Once breast feeding is established, at about three or four weeks, expressing can help mum and dad enjoy the experience of nurturing their baby together.”
The study also pointed out that over a quarter of mums who have more than one child said the advice changed between having their first and second babies. Yet 23 per cent of those admit they did things the same way they did with their first child rather than taking the new advice.
“Second time mums are more confident and relaxed about their role” added Vicki Scott “this is why they generally build on their previous experience and look for advice if necessary”.
Top ten most confusing things for new mums (in order)
1. How to breastfeed
2. When to start feeding a child solid food
3. What age to start potty training
4. How long a baby should sleep for
5. How many layers of clothing a newborn should wear
6. What age you can stop sterilizing bottles and feeding equipment
7. What a normal temperature is for a baby/toddler
8. How long you should leave a child crying for when doing controlled crying
9. What position a child should be in when they go to sleep
10. When to change a child from sleeping in a cot to a bed