Books Read to Baby Helpful Teaching Tools for New Mothers

Books read to infants may be useful in teaching anticipatory-guidance issues to first-time mothers

FRIDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Books that new mothers read to infants may be effective in providing anticipatory guidance to the women, according to research published online April 12 in Pediatrics.

Stephanie M. Reich, Ph.D., of the University of California in Irvine, and colleagues analyzed data from 168 primiparous women who were randomly assigned to a group receiving educational books spaced several months apart, a group receiving noneducational books, or a group receiving no books. The educational books were board books with information pertaining to infant development and safety, breast-feeding and other issues, and were modified to be relevant to the specific child ages when women received them. Women were assessed for knowledge of anticipatory-guidance topics related to infants during their third trimester of pregnancy and at several points until their infants were 18 months old.

The researchers found that women receiving the educational books consistently had higher knowledge scores than women in either the noneducational-books group or women in the no-books group.

"These findings are promising, because educational baby books could easily be disseminated during pediatric visits, added to programs such as Reach Out and Read, mailed to families, and offered through public assistance and community programs, thus providing educational opportunities to families who do not visit their health care provider regularly or whose pediatricians do not cover anticipatory-guidance topics," the authors conclude.

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