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Breastfeeding Concerns Prevalent Among New Mothers
Concerns significantly associated with increased risk of stopping breastfeeding, using formula

TUESDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Almost all new mothers experience breastfeeding concerns in the early postpartum period, and these are associated with stopping breastfeeding, according to a study published online Sept. 23 in Pediatrics.

Erin A. Wagner, from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues characterized breastfeeding support, intentions, and concerns in a cohort of 532 expectant primiparas who were followed-up through 60 days postpartum.

The researchers found that there were 4,179 breastfeeding concerns reported in 2,946 interviews, which could be grouped into 49 subcategories and nine main categories. At day three, 92 percent of participants reported at least one concern, with the most common concerns being difficulty with infant feeding at breast (52 percent), breastfeeding pain (44 percent), and quantity of milk (40 percent). Concerns correlated significantly with increased risk of stopping breastfeeding and with use of formula, with the peak adjusted relative risk at day three. The largest population attributable risks (PARs) for stopping feeding were infant feeding difficulty on day seven (adjusted PAR, 32 percent) and milk quantity at day 14 (adjusted PAR, 23 percent).

"Breastfeeding concerns are highly prevalent and associated with stopping breastfeeding," the authors write. "Priority should be given to developing strategies for lowering the overall occurrence of breastfeeding concerns and resolving, in particular, infant feeding and milk quantity concerns occurring within the first 14 days postpartum."

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