A new prospective study published online in Pediatrics¬†has found that most new mothers say they’ll exclusively breastfeed for 3 months or more, but most aren’t actually meeting that goal. In fact the new research, gleamed from an Infant Feeding Practices Study run by the CDC and FDA shows that just one-third of women who intend to breastfeed exclusively for the first 3 months, manage to do so. Why the difference in women who want to breastfeed and those who actually do?

Cria G. Perrine, PhD, and colleagues at the CDC in Atlanta who ran the study note that hospital practices such as giving supplemental bottle feedings and pacifiers to newborns may stop new moms from reaching their breastfeeding goals. Other theories exist too, such as postpartum maternity care given to new moms can be a strong influence when it comes to breastfeeding success. So for example, a less helpful postpartum nurse may result in a mom who breastfeeds less successfully. Interestingly, according to the researchers, just one Baby-Friendly hospital practice – the practice of zero supplemental feedings, was significantly associated with meeting exclusive breastfeeding goals. This is discouraging news since all Baby-Friendly hospital practices are supposed to improve breastfeeding success. Why do you think so many women aren’t meeting their original breastfeeding goals? Let us know in the comments.

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