Breastfeeding: uncovering barriers and offering solutions

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months after an infant is born. Although the recommendations are well known, mothers face barriers that make breastfeeding difficult. This article reviews the recent literature on barriers to breastfeeding as well as strategies for pediatricians to use to help women overcome them.

Recent findings

The mode of delivery, mother's socioeconomic status, return to work, and prenatal breastfeeding education have been reported as factors that influence breastfeeding. Family-centered models for breastfeeding, peer support groups, and technology have been studied as potential ways to help women meet their breastfeeding goals.

Summary

Pediatricians are the first providers to care for babies after hospital discharge and are likely the first doctors that mothers see after childbirth. These early visits create opportunities for pediatricians to learn about the barriers that their patients face and open the doors to addressing these barriers.

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