A recent study shows that new mothers get poor advice from doctors or not at all. The study revealed that new moms usually get conflicting advice from family members, the media and medical professionals regarding important parenting topics.
Most of the times that advice goes against the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics for infant sleep, pacifier use, vaccines and breast feeding.
Dr. Staci Eisenberg, the lead author of the recent study and pediatrician at the Boston Medical Center said that in order for parents to take informed decisions regarding their new baby’s safety and health, it is mandatory that the new parents receive information, and, more importantly, that the information is accurate. She also said that the researchers are aware from previous studies that the advice the new parents receive is crucial. This is because parents are more inclined to stick to the recommendations of professionals when they get advice from numerous sources, like physicians and family.
The scientists surveyed over 1,000 mothers in the United States. Their kids were no older than 6 months and no younger than 2. They asked the new mothers what kind of advice they had been provided on numerous topics, such as infant sleep location and position, pacifiers, breast feeding and vaccines.
Mothers received most of their advice from physicians. However, much of that proved to be contradictory to the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics on those topics.
For instance, 15 percent of the recommendations mothers received from their doctors regarding pacifiers and breast feeding did not match the official recommendations from the AAP. Similar to this, 26 percent of all advice about the child’s sleeping position contradicted the recommendations from the AAP. And about 29 percent of the new mothers got misinformed regarding where the babies should sleep.
Mothers also received advice from family members as much as 60 percent of the time, based on numerous topics. Over 20 percent of advice regarding breast feeding from members of the family didn’t meet the official recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Similar to this, advice from family members regarding the sleep position of the babies and their location, as well as pacifiers, were against the recommendations coming from the AAP.
Less the half of the new mothers said that the media was a resource of advice as well, except regarding breast feeding. Around 70 percent of the women said they received advice on breast feeding from the media, and much of that advice didn’t meet the recommendations from the AAP either.
The new study was published on July 27 in the online journal Pediatrics.
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