iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Women with newborns get advice, of course, from their families, friends and neighbors. But a new study reveals that up to half of mothers don’t get any advice from their doctors on some important topics, including where and how to put their infant to sleep.
Researchers surveyed more than 1,000 mothers of infants at 32 different medical centers across the country to learn what mothers recalled being told about breastfeeding, immunizations, pacifier use and baby sleep. They also looked at where this advice was coming from (doctors, nurses, family and media) and whether it was accurate.
Doctors were the most common source of advice, but one in five women did not recall receiving any suggestions from them regarding breastfeeding or sleep position. Furthermore, more than half reported getting no advice regarding sleep location and pacifier use.
But even more concerning, the study, published Monday in Pediatrics, found that more than one in four women received “bad” advice on where and how to put their babies to sleep.
Family members seemed to provide the worst recommendations, with two-thirds of advice being inconsistent with current guidelines.
Black mothers, Hispanic mothers and first-time moms were the most likely to get accurate advice.
It’s worth nothing that most of the women getting “bad” advice actually received conflicting, rather than purely bad advice. In other words, they reported receiving at least two different recommendations from their doctors and, in the majority of cases, at least one of these recommendations was consistent with guidelines.
The study was also based on what mothers recalled, so it may not reflect the advice that was actually given.
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