A recent survey has found that a lot of new mothers don’t receive advice from doctors on how to take care of their babies.
The researches studied the answers of more than 1.000 mothers with newborn babies. Participant were selected from all across the country and asked whether or not doctors offer women information on how to take care of their kids. Some of the questioned were related to the infant’s sleeping position, breastfeeding habits, pacifier use and immunization.
Roughly 20 percent (20%) of the participants revealed that they weren’t given any advice whatsoever on breastfeeding or on placing infants in their beds on their backs. It’s an alarming finding as the latter practice has been proven to diminish the chances of experiencing sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Over 50 percent (50%) of the participants also revealed that their doctors had not informed them on where the infant should sleep. The general recommendation is to keep it in the same room where the parents sleep, but place it in its own bed.
On average, black and Hispanic women had a better chance of receiving advice from their doctors than white women. Women who were having their first baby also had a better chance of receiving advice than women who were having their second or third baby.
The advice that women did receive was in alignment with national recommendations for the most part. However, the research team also noticed that somewhere between 10 percent (10%) to 15 percent (15%) of the advice on breastfeeding and use of pacifiers was not.
And when it cane to sleeping positions, the experts found that 25 percent (25%) of the advice that new mother receive is inconsistent.
The entire scenario is that much more worrisome since first time mothers may not have all of the information that they need to look after their babies, and previous studies have shown that they will most likely listen to the advice that their doctors offer them.
Staci Eisenberg, study author and pediatrician from the Boston Medical Center, gave a statement saying that “As a physician, these findings made me stop and really think about how we communicate important information to new parents”.
She went on to add that medical experts may have to be clearer as well as more specific when talking to new mothers about safe sleeping positions.
Another interesting finding is that new parents often rely on the advice that friends and family give them, or even on advice from the media. However the research team has concluded that a lot of these pieces of information are flawed. For instance, a little over half of the mothers who were given advice by relatives were instructed to place infants in their beds on their stomachs.
One working theory is that some doctors may not be offering advice either because they don’t agree with the national recommendations, because the recommendations are controversial, or because they don’t have enough time to talk to a patient before they have to go treat or examine another.
The survey was published earlier this month in the journal Pediatrics, and financially backed by the National Institutes of Health.
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