Researchers at Boston Medical Center found that new moms often receive conflicting advice on major topics that can help them raise a healthy baby from their family members, health care providers, and the media.
Those sources mothers use to get their parenting advice are usually at odds with the official recommendations of pediatric medical experts from various universities and institutions including American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Phony advice can be about breastfeeding, best infant sleep position, sleep location, and pacifiers.
Boston Medical Center’s Dr. Staci Eisenberg, senior author of the study, explained that parents need “accurate” information before rushing into making a decision. She also said that advice is very important to new moms, but women tend to trust advice if it originates from “multiple sources” including other women, their family members, and medical professionals.
During their study, researchers analyzed data on 1,000 new moms with babies between a couple of months and six months old. The mothers were asked to complete a survey on what type of advice they usually requested from the ones they trust.
Study authors learned that one of the hot parenting topics new moms are interested in is sleep location. New mothers want to know whether it is better for babies to sleep in their parents’ room or have one of their own, and whether babies should sleep in a separate bed or with their parents.
Data showed that new moms get their first parenting advice from physicians and nurses, but also from family members and magazines, TV, or the Internet. Luckily most mothers went to a doctor to learn more about how to handle their newborns, but surprisingly, the advice those doctors provide them with was often at odds with the AAP’s official guidelines on the topics.
According to the study, 15 percent of advice on breast-feeding and pacifier use was conflicting with AAP’s advice. Additionally, more than 25 percent of the advice on sleep position was not in the line with AAP’s recommendations. Plus, nearly 30 percent of advice on infant’s best hours to sleep mismatched AAP experts’ view.
Dr. Clay Jones, a newborn medicine expert at the Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Massachusetts, recommended that people should not get their advice from the Internet or medical shows such as Dr. Oz. He also said that the study’s results were not surprising since those sources of advice are notoriously unreliable and lack any scientific evidence. And so is the advice from close friends or some family members.
Researchers also found that family members often provide conflicting advice on breast-feeding in 20 percent of the cases, while new moms seek their opinion on various parenting topics 30 percent to 60 percent of the time.
Image Source: Science of Mom
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