Breastfeeding Research Study

Contact: Jill Holder

 

""

The study, involving 100 breastfeeding mothers, established that early initiation of breastfeeding proved to be the most influential factor in the success of breastfeeding while in the hospital, affected the mother’s desire to breastfeed when returning home, and reduced postpartum problems. Kentucky has the fourth lowest rating in the nation for the number of breastfeeding mothers.

""

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 29, 2004) -- Nurse researchers in the obstetrical unit at the University of Kentucky Hospital have completed a research study concerning the effects of early initiation of breastfeeding on infants. The purpose of the study was to determine if early initiation encouraged mothers to breastfeed while in the hospital and to feel more comfortable to breastfeed after they are discharged. This study also examined reducing breastfeeding problems for mothers during hospitalization.

“In the first two hours of life the newborn is in its most alert state and this is when the early initiation needs to take place,” said Carol Komara, nursing staff development specialist and principal investigator of the study.

The research study also attempted to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies to reduce breastfeeding barriers. Prior to the study, researchers found that state and federal guidelines that all newborns receive vitamin K and eye prophylaxis within the first hour after birth was a barrier to effective breastfeeding. Infants were separated from the mother to receive vitamin K and eye prophylaxis in the nursery. In this study, the health care professional administered vitamin K and eye prophylaxis in the labor and delivery room.

The study, involving 100 breastfeeding mothers, established that early initiation of breastfeeding proved to be the most influential factor in the success of breastfeeding while in the hospital, affected the mother’s desire to breastfeed when returning home, and reduced postpartum problems. Kentucky has the fourth lowest rating in the nation for the number of breastfeeding mothers.

Preliminary findings show that 84 percent of babies whose mother’s breastfed in Labor Delivery Recovery (LDR) had easy latch-on. Results also indicate that breastfeeding in the LDR decreased dietary supplementation with formula. Also, 89 percent of mothers who breastfed in LDR thought breastfeeding soon after birth made it easier to continue to breastfeed while in the hospital. Finally, 100 percent of the mothers who breastfed in LDR intended to continue breastfeeding.

The current mission is to assist mothers who want to breastfeed regardless of obstetrical complications, and to educate mothers who do not intend to breastfeed or who have had cesarean sections. The nursing staff in the obstetrical unit at UK Hospital hopes that this study will help to increase the breastfeeding rates of patients and will show the community that UK Hospital is committed to breastfeeding. The ultimate goal for the future is that the knowledge learned in this research study will influence health providers to offer monetary rebates to mothers who choose to breastfeed. For more information about early initiation, contact Carol Komara, at cakoma2@email.uky.edu or call (859) 323-5979.


Back to Campus News Homepage