Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Effects of Supplementing

I am copying all the text from a post from the Prayer of Hannah Blog. To go to the post at its original location, you can click here.

I thought this research was interesting and wondered if anyone might enjoy reading it as well. It pertains to the effects of supplementing in the hospital with bottles of water, glucose water, artificial baby milk, or adding supplements to the mother's milk. Some of the reasons for this include the following:

• to give the mother a rest
• because the mother doesn't have her milk 'in' yet
• to prevent hypoglycemia
• to prevent or reduce jaundice

None of these are indications for giving supplements, with some having the opposite effect to the desired result. Yet a 2005 study found that close to half of infants received artificial baby milk in the hospital!

Here are some of the effects on breastfeeding (and these effects were noted even if the baby received only one supplement!):

• Supplemented babies are significantly less likely to be exclusively or fully breastfed after hospital discharge.
• The risk for shortened duration of breastfeeding is increased 4-fold when supplements were given in hospital, even when the supplement used is predominantly donor breastmilk.
• Exclusively breastfed newborns are fed more frequently then breastfed-plus-supplemented infants. 93% of moms remember which brand of artificial baby milk was used in hospital and most will use that brand. Parents may interpret the use of artificial baby milk as an endorsement by hospital staff, despite clear verbal messages promoting breastfeeding.

So. . . if you hope to succeed in breastfeeding, do everything you can to make sure your baby rooms-in with you and doesn't receive any supplementation. . . both in the hospital and after you go home!
Written by Krista