IiShortened postpartum length of stay

Shorter postpartum hospital stays (12-48 hours) need not negatively impact on breastfeeding success. When health care professionals in the community and hospital provide consistent, clear, breastfeeding information and support for mothers throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum and the breastfeeding period, the breastfeeding experience can be positive and successful for both mother and baby.

The effect of distributing discharge packs on the duration of breastfeeding is uncertain. While no study has demonstrated a positive effect of discharge packs on the initiation or duration of breastfeeding, in high-risk populations the provision of formula-containing discharge packs may (Dungy et al., 1992; Frank et al., 1987), or may not (Neifert et al., 1988; Bergevin et al., 1983), decrease the duration of breastfeeding.

Criteria for discharge from hospital should include at least two successful nursings managed independently by mother and baby (CPS, 1996; AAI? 1995). It is recommended that parents demonstrate a clear understanding of how they will feed their baby, and should receive written information on the signs of successful breastfeeding, their infant's birth and discharge weights, and a list of breastfeeding resources in the community. In addition, it is recommended that mother and baby be evaluated by a health care professional within 48 hours of discharge to assess the infant's feeding and hydration, and to evaluate for jaundice and other abnormalities

  • CPS, SOGC, 1996).
  • iii) "Top-up" feeds. Glucose water and infant formula are often provided between feeds or to "top up" breastfeeds in the first days of life. The rationale, while unproved, is that such practices minimize weight loss and/or the development of early hyperbilirubinemia (Inch and Garforth, 1989; Gray-Donald et al., 1985; Nicoll et al., 1982). This practice may adversely affect both the demand for and supply of milk. The decline in the infant's hunger may also undermine the mother's confidence in being able to provide adequate milk for her infant and, thus, indirectly diminish the chance of breastfeeding success
  • CICH, 1996; CPS, 1994a; Howard et al., 1994; Inch and Garforth, 1989). Since the benefits associated with this practice are unproved, women who are trying to establish their milk supply are advised to avoid feeding supplementary or complementary bottles of breast milk substitutes or water, or using pacifiers, for the initial 2 to 4 weeks of an infant's life (Riordan and Auerbach, 1993).
  • iv) Smoking. Mothers who smoke have lower breastfeeding initiation and duration rates than non-smokers. Nicotine metabolites have been found in the urine of breastfeeding infants whose mothers smoke, and in both breastfed and bottle-fed infants, where passive smoking occurs. Heavy smoking (more than 10 cigarettes per day) has been associated with decreased milk production, decreased milk ejection, infant irritability and poor weight gain (Lawrence,

Breastfeeding mothers should be encouraged to stop or reduce smoking. However, even if smoking continues, breastfeeding is still the best choice. The harmful effects of smoking on the baby can be reduced by smoking after breastfeeding rather than before. Mothers who smoke (whether bottle- or breastfeeding) and other smokers in the household should be encouraged to smoke outside or, at least, in a different room than the baby, to reduce the effects of environmental tobacco smoke (CICH, 1996).

New Mothers Guide to Breast Feeding

New Mothers Guide to Breast Feeding

For many years, scientists have been playing out the ingredients that make breast milk the perfect food for babies. They've discovered to day over 200 close compounds to fight infection, help the immune system mature, aid in digestion, and support brain growth - nature made properties that science simply cannot copy. The important long term benefits of breast feeding include reduced risk of asthma, allergies, obesity, and some forms of childhood cancer. The more that scientists continue to learn, the better breast milk looks.

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