Breastfeeding can be a difficult time for both mother and baby, so using cabbage leaves and tea bags to ease pain or eating oatmeal to increase milk production are among the folk remedies that women pass along to new mothers seeking help.
As experts in this field, lactation specialists were surveyed to see how often they pass along this folklore to breastfeeding mothers, despite a lack of research-based evidence to support these suggestions, according to a recent survey by Dr. Jonathan Schaffir, an obstetrician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Results of the survey are published in Breastfeeding Medicine.
The online survey of 124 lactation consultants affiliated with U.S. medical centers in 29 states found that 69 percent reported hearing of folk remedies, and 65 percent had recommended at least one of these methods.
Survey respondents were asked to provide examples of advice they had heard of, as well as advice they routinely passed on to breastfeeding mothers. Advice was broken into five categories: recommendations to promote lactation, to initiate breastfeeding, to treat pain associated with breastfeeding, to assist with weaning, and about substances to avoid for the baby’s sake.
Science Brief thanks to EurekAlert.
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