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Many Ob-Gyn Textbooks Lack Good Info on Breast-Feeding
Date:5/6/2008

l Medicine, edited by Robert K. Creasy and Robert Resnick, and the 2007 edition of Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies, edited by Steven G. Gabbe, et al. -- high marks for providing complete and accurate information on breast-feeding.

But he said doctors' "general lack of interest in breast-feeding is reflected in three other textbooks" -- Williams Obstetrics, 2005 edition, edited by F. Gary Cunningham, et al., Danforth's Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2003, edited by James R. Scott, et al., and the 2006 edition of Beckmann's Obstetrics and Gynecology, edited by Charles R.B. Beckmann, et al.

"There's not the focus on it or interest that there should be," Ogburn contends.

In their review of five widely used textbooks, Ogburn, along with colleagues at Boston University, found the omission of key information and, in some cases, actual errors, he said.

For example, one text mistakenly advised that putting newborns on a feeding schedule is fine, while research shows that babies should be fed "on demand" -- that is, whenever they are hungry, Ogburn said. Mothers sometimes fear that they won't have sufficient milk if they nurse too often, but nursing actually stimulates increased milk production, he said.

Another text also omitted a discussion of the inadvisability of supplementing mothers' milk with formula within the first 48 to 72 hours after delivery, Ogburn added. Suckling is crucial in this postnatal period to stimulate the mother's breast milk. Meanwhile, nursing infants receive colostrum (especially healthy "first" or "immune" milk) from the mother's breast. Colostrum passes on the mother's immunity to the baby and protects it in the first month of life, Ogburn explained. He added that mothers who supplement breast-feeding with formula during the first 72 hours are less likely to breast-feed later.

Aponte agreed that standard medical text books should address breast-f
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