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Journal: International breastfeeding journal


Early or timely initiation of breastfeeding is crucial in preventing newborn deaths and influences childhood nutrition however remains low in South Asia and the factors and barriers warrant greater consideration for improved action. This review synthesises the evidence on factors and barriers to initiation of breastfeeding within 1 h of birth in South Asia encompassing Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Concepts: India, Sri Lanka, Buddhism, South Asia, Pakistan, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation


Exclusive breastfeeding and growth faltering during infancy remain challenges in Bangladesh. The Training & Assistance for Health & Nutrition Foundation has been working to address this gap through community-based peer counsellors since 2000. In this paper, we assessed the programme’s progress, particularly with respect to early initiation of breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding for normal birth weight, as well as for low birth weight (LBW) infants.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infant, Breastfeeding, Pediatrics, Baby bottle, Pacifier


BACKGROUND: Infants with latch-on problems cause stress for parents and staff, often resulting in early termination of breastfeeding. Healthy newborns experiencing skin-to-skin contact at birth are pre-programmed to find the mother’s breast. This study investigates if skin-to-skin contact between mothers with older infants having severe latching on problems would resolve the problem. METHODS: Mother-infant pairs with severe latch-on problems, that were not resolved during screening procedures at two maternity hospitals in Stockholm 1998–2004, were randomly assigned to skin-to-skin contact (experimental group) or not (control group) during breastfeeding. Breastfeeding counseling was given to both groups according to a standard model. Participants were unaware of their treatment group. Objectives were to compare treatment groups concerning the proportion of infants regularly latching on, the time from intervention to regular latching on and maternal emotions and pain before and during breastfeeding. RESULTS: On hundred and three mother-infant pairs with severe latch-on problems 1–16 weeks postpartum were randomly assigned and analyzed. There was no significant difference between the groups in the proportion of infants starting regular latching-on (75% experimental group, vs. 86% control group). Experimental group infants, who latched on, had a significantly shorter median time from start of intervention to regular latching on than control infants, 2.0 weeks (Q1 = 1.0, Q3 = 3.7) vs. 4.7 weeks (Q1 = 2.0, Q3 = 8.0), (p-value = 0.020). However, more infants in the experimental group (94%), with a history of “strong reaction” during “hands-on latch intervention”, latched-on within 3 weeks compared to 33% in the control infants (Fisher Exact test p-value = 0.0001). Mothers in the experimental group (n = 53) had a more positive breastfeeding experience according to the Breastfeeding Emotional Scale during the intervention than mothers in the control group (n = 50) (p-value = 0.022). CONCLUSIONS: Skin-to-skin contact during breastfeeding seems to immediately enhance maternal positive feelings and shorten the time it takes to resolve severe latch-on problems in the infants who started to latch. An underlying mechanism may be that skin-to-skin contact with the mother during breastfeeding may calm infants with earlier strong reaction to “hands on latch intervention” and relieve the stress which may have blocked the infant’s inborn biological program to find the breast and latch on.Trial registration: Karolinska Clinical Trial Registration number CT20100055.

Concepts: Childbirth, Infant, Experimental design, Statistics, Statistical significance, Breastfeeding, Maternal bond, Mother


Breastfeeding support from health professionals can be effective in influencing a mother’s decision to initiate and maintain breastfeeding. However, health professionals, including nursing students, do not always receive adequate breastfeeding education during their foundational education programme to effectively help mothers. In this paper, we report on a systematic review of the literature that aimed to describe nursing and other health professional students' knowledge and attitudes towards breastfeeding, and examine educational interventions designed to increase breastfeeding knowledge and attitudes amongst health professional students.

Concepts: Health, Education, Educational psychology, Profession, Professional, Nursing, Mother, Student


Kangaroo mother care is a comprehensive intervention given for all newborns especially for premature and low birthweight infants. It is the most feasible and preferred intervention for decreasing neonatal morbidity and mortality. Even though time to initiating breastfeeding has been examined by randomized controlled trials, varying findings have been reported. Therefore, the main objective of this meta-analysis was to estimate the pooled mean time to initiate breastfeeding among preterm and low birthweight infants.


Current evidence suggests that women need effective support to breastfeed, but many healthcare staff lack the necessary knowledge, attitudes and skills. There is therefore a need for breastfeeding education and training for healthcare staff. The primary aim of this review is to determine whether education and training programs for healthcare staff have an effect on their knowledge and attitudes about supporting breastfeeding women. The secondary aim of this review was to identify whether any differences in type of training or discipline of staff mattered.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Effectiveness, Breastfeeding, Training, Learning, Meta-analysis, Need, Gymnasium


Probiotics are defined as live micro-organisms, which when administered in adequate amounts, confer health benefits on the host. Scientists have isolated various strains of Lactobacilli from human milk (such as Lactobacillus fermentum and Lactobacillus salivarius), and the presence of these organisms is thought to be protective against breast infections, or mastitis. Trials of probiotics for treating mastitis in dairy cows have had mixed results: some successful and others unsuccessful. To date, only one trial of probiotics to treat mastitis in women and one trial to prevent mastitis have been published. Although trials of probiotics to prevent mastitis in breastfeeding women are still in progress, health professionals in Australia are receiving marketing of these products. High quality randomised controlled trials are needed to assess the effectiveness of probiotics for the prevention and/or treatment of mastitis.

Concepts: Bacteria, Microbiology, Randomized controlled trial, Milk, Cattle, Dairy farming, Lactobacillus, Lactobacillus fermentum


BACKGROUND: Infant and young child feeding is critical for child health and survival. Proportion of infants 0–5 months who are fed exclusively with breast milk is a common indicator used for monitoring and evaluating infant and young child feeding in a given country and region. Despite progress made since 1990, a previous review in 2006 of global and regional trends found improvement to be modest. The current study provides an update in global and regional trends in exclusive breastfeeding from 1995 to 2010, taking advantage of the wealth of data from recent household surveys. METHODS: Using the global database of infant and young child feeding maintained by the United Nations Children’s Fund, the authors examined estimates from 440 household surveys in 140 countries over the period between 1995 and 2010 and calculated global and regional averages of the rate of exclusive breastfeeding among infants 0–5 months for the two time points to assess the trends. RESULTS: Trend data suggest the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding among infants younger than six months in developing countries increased from 33% in 1995 to 39% in 2010. The prevalence increased in almost all regions in the developing world, with the biggest improvement seen in West and Central Africa. CONCLUSIONS: In spite of the well-recognized importance of exclusive breastfeeding, the practice is not widespread in the developing world and increase on the global level is still very modest with much room for improvement. Child nutrition programmes worldwide continue to require investments and commitments to improve infant feeding practices in order to have maximum impact on children’s lives.

Concepts: Infant, Milk, Breastfeeding, Developing country, Baby bottle, World Bank, United Nations, Region


It may be tempting for breastfeeding advocates to respond to challenges of breastfeeding older children or breastfeeding in public, by pointing out the nutritional or developmental benefits of breastfeeding, or by noting that breastfeeding is often extremely discreet. Such responses may concede more than they should: by focusing on rebutting the empirical claim, breastfeeding supporters may end up implicitly accepting two presuppositions about breastfeeding. First, the presupposition that breastfeeding requires justification in terms of health or developmental benefits to the child, and second, the presupposition that breastfeeding in public is only acceptable if assumed standards of discretion are met.


BACKGROUND: Breastfeeding peer support, is considered to be a key intervention for increasing breastfeeding duration rates. Whilst a number of national organisations provide telephone based breastfeeding peer support to date there have been no published evaluations into callers' experiences and attitudes of this support. In this study we report on the descriptive and qualitative insights provided by 908 callers as part of an evaluation of UK-based breastfeeding helpline(s). METHODS: A structured telephone interview, incorporating Likert scale responses and open-ended questions was undertaken with 908 callers over May to August, 2011 to explore callers' experiences of the help and support received via the breastfeeding helpline(s). RESULTS: Overall satisfaction with the helpline was high, with the vast majority of callers' recalling positive experiences of the help and support received. Thematic analysis was undertaken on all qualitative and descriptive data recorded during the evaluation, contextualised within the main areas addressed within the interview schedule in terms of ‘contact with the helplines’; ‘experiences of the helpline service’, ‘perceived effectiveness of support provision’ and ‘impact on caller wellbeing’. CONCLUSION: Callers valued the opportunity for accessible, targeted, non-judgmental and convenient support. Whilst the telephone support did not necessarily influence women’s breastfeeding decisions, the support they received left them feeling reassured, confident and more determined to continue breastfeeding. We recommend extending the helpline service to ensure support can be accessed when needed, and ongoing training and support for volunteers. Further advertising and promotion of the service within wider demographic groups is warranted.

Concepts: Qualitative research, Demographics, Likert scale, Telephone, The Help, Helpline, Helplines, User Assistance