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Negative Emotions Often Surround Bottle-Feeding

Mothers may report guilt, sense of failure; many aren't well informed on how to feed with bottle

FRIDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Mothers who bottle-feed their infants may be poorly informed on how to properly use this feeding method, and they may feel a range of negative emotions about this choice, according to research published online July 14 in Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Rajalakshmi Lakshman, of Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, U.K., and colleagues reviewed 23 quantitative and qualitative studies involving 13,263 participants in order to assess parents' experiences with infant formula.

The researchers report that women commonly felt guilt over bottle-feeding, pressure to breast-feed, and a sense of shame or failure when they bottle-fed their infants. Conversely, many reportedly felt a sense of relief when they began bottle-feeding. Women often did not get adequate information from health care providers on how to bottle-feed. The studies also found that mothers often failed to follow safety recommendations for preparing formula.

"Since the vast majority of babies receive at least some formula milk during the first year of life, it is important that this is prepared and administered safely and correctly. While it is important to increase the initiation and duration of breast-feeding, it is also necessary to minimize the risks associated with bottle-feeding by providing adequate information and support in a sensitive and non-judgmental manner to parents who choose to bottle-feed their infants."

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