The scientists wanted to investigate whether the usage of a sling for newborns is associated with the increased frequency or duration of breastfeeding.
In a survey which involved 200 mothers of healthy full-term infants, the mothers were divided into two groups: in the first group, the mothers received information only about breastfeeding (group 1). The second group of mothers, in addition to information about breastfeeding, also received a sling with accurate information and training on how to use it (group 2). Then the researchers followed up the two groups through telephone interviews per month.
Out of the 100 mothers who received the sling, the 69 used it in the first month of life of their baby for at least 1 hour a day, while 31 of them used it very little or not at all.
The breastfeeding rates when leaving the hospital was similar for both groups of mothers. However, at the age of 2 months, a significantly greater percentage of mothers from the group with the sling lactating compared with mothers who did not receive the sling (72% as compared to 51%). And at the age of five months, the group of mothers who took the sling in the first month of life the baby had again significantly higher breastfeeding rates (twice, 48% versus 24% for the group of mothers who received no sling).
Not only the duration in months of breastfeeding was significantly higher, but also the frequency of breastfeeding during the day: the group of 2 mothers breast fed their babies significantly more frequently compared with group 2. Scientists have concluded that their study provides evidence that the use of baby carriers – babywearing of healthy term infants during the first months of life is associated with an increased rate of breast feeding and an increased, in overall, lactation.
Therefore babywearing is a tool that can help a mother to breastfeed more successfully her child. With proper use can provide more mother and infant contact, a greater connection between them and more time to get to know and also for the mother to recognize in time the signs of hunger, fatigue, etc. of the infant. Babywearing can, with proper guidance as part of a series of measures, enhance the mother’s connection with the infant, a valuable tool in cases of relactation and efforts to increase the maternal milk production.
Women should free themselves from the standard perceptions of early independence of newborns and to be taught to recognize and respond in a timely and appropriate manner, to the signs of their baby. The hug, whenever necessary, is an integral part of infancy.
Translation / Commentary: Stelios Papaventzis, Pediatrician MRCPCH DCH ΙΒCLC, Certified Lactation Consultant
Translation to English: Dora Karli for www.MyRockinBaby.gr baby carriers
Original source: Pisacane A et al. Use of baby carriers to increase breastfeeding duration among term-infants: the effects of an educational intervention in Italy. Acta Paediatr. 2012 Jun 26. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2012.02758.x. [Epub ahead of print]