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Bottle-feeding "neglected"

Tuesday July 14th, 2009

Efforts to increase breast-feeding rates are leaving many mothers ill-equipped when they seek to use bottles, an expert claimed today.

Research on bottle-feeding tends to be looking for ways to deter mothers - rather than assisting them, according to paediatrician Dr Rajalakshmi Lakshman, of Cambridge University, UK.

Dr Lakshman has taken a fresh look at the research and points out the difficulties faced by women who feel they need to use formula milk.

These include guilt, a sense of failure and a reaction of anger at the pressure to breastfeed.

Writing in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, Dr Lakshman says there is also evidence of frequent mistakes in the preparation of bottle feeds, increasing the risk of infection or simply leading to a baby putting on too much weight or becoming undernourished.

Dr Lakshman agrees that promoting breast-feeding is necessary.

He adds: "It is also necessary to ensure that the needs of bottle feeding mothers are met ... Inadequate information and support for mothers who decide to bottle feed may put the health of their babies at risk."

Arch Dis Child 2009; doi 10.1136/adc.208.151910

Tags: Child Health | Childbirth and Pregnancy | Nutrition & Healthy Eating | UK News | Women’s Health & Gynaecology

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