Pregnancy expectations and preparations influence breastfeeding

In South Africa less than 10% of babies are exclusively breastfeeding by 3 months of age (SOUTH AFRICA DEMOGRAPHIC AND HEALTH SURVEY 1998). The rest of the western world is not far from these stats, even though the benefits of breast milk are well known. One of the ways to change feeding practices is to begin in pregnancy with education and support around breastfeeding. A study published in Journal of Advanced Nursing (Vol 22, 5) revealed that a specific factors and attitudes in pregnancy have a significant impact on whether a woman is exclusively breastfeeding her baby at three months of age. The factors that appeared to be key were:

  • a higher level of education,
  • early decision to breastfeed in pregnancy
  • intending to breastfeed longer

Baby Sense encourage moms who are pregnant to start making informed choices and preparing mentally for their feeding (breast, bottle and solids) journey early. A great source of information is Feeding Sense, written by paediatric dietician Kath Megaw, Dr Simon Strachan and Meg Faure.

Reference: Breastfeeding duration: prenatal intentions and postnatal practices Lawson K & Tulloch M.