The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends babies be breastfed exclusively with no formula or food supplements for the first 6 months of life. However, researchers at UC Davis Medical Center found that in first time mothers, 92 percent were having difficulty breastfeeding within three days after giving birth.
“Although breastfeeding is the way babies are meant to be fed, it doesn’t always feel natural or happen easily for every mother,” said Lisa Brown, RN, a lactation consultant with Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital. “We find that most mothers need a little instruction and support.”
A study by the AAP published in its journal Pediatrics found that mothers who were supported during the first four weeks of breastfeeding by maternity staff, their baby’s pediatrician and through a peer support group had greater success with exclusive breastfeeding and reported fewer difficulties.
“A lot of the knowledge of what’s ‘normal’ with breastfeeding isn’t passed from mother to daughter or from one friend to another anymore,” said Brown. “A breastfeeding class provides information and helps support moms during those first few critical weeks.”