Saturday, January 20, 2007

One session with a lactation consultant improves your chances of success!

January 8, 2007 — A single antenatal counseling session with educational materials improved breastfeeding practices up to 3 months after delivery, according to the results of a randomized trial reported in the January issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
More here.

"Both the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend exclusive breast-feeding for the first 6 months, followed by the introduction of suitable complementary foods and continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age. Despite increasing clinician awareness of the many advantages of breastfeeding, many mothers in the United States and worldwide do not maintain exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months."

A US survey in 2001 revealed that at 6 months' postpartum, only 27% of mothers were still breastfeeding, and only 7.9% were exclusively breastfeeding, which means without any additional formula or food or drink. In Singapore, the National Breastfeeding Survey 2001 showed that only 21.1% of mothers continued to breastfeed at 6 months, and that fewer than 5% were breast-feeding exclusively.

"The challenge therefore remains to implement programs that can effectively improve rates of exclusive and predominant breastfeeding both in the short and long term. In these surveys, significant factors affecting the decision not to breastfeed included a lack of support from healthcare professionals (reported by more than 10% of Singapore mothers) and a lack of knowledge about breastfeeding.

Although programs aimed at promoting breastfeeding through patient education and caregiver encouragement have yielded mixed results, systematic reviews conclude that educational programs are more effective at improving breastfeeding practice than are informative pamphlets dispensed without accompanying educational intervention. Seeing a lactation counselor before delivery establishes contact with someone who can continue to provide postnatal care and support. Breastfeeding counseling should be part of a broader program aimed at educating pregnant women for motherhood."

If you are in Tokyo, once a month classes with a Lactation Consultant are available here.

Private consultations are also available on request.

Once a month La Leche League meetings are held in Tokyo at 2 locations. Meeting the group Leaders and the other mothers can also help you establish the network of support you need.

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