Providers are missing opportunities to advise new mothers on infant care, including sleep position, breastfeeding, and pacifier use, according to a study published online July 27 in Pediatrics. 


Lead author Staci R. Eisenberg, MD, and colleagues studied 1,031 new mothers enrolled at delivery who completed questionnaires when their infant was aged 2 months to 6 months on whether they received advice from their infant’s physician, birth hospital nurses, family members, and news media and whether that advice was consistent with current recommendations. Approximately 20% of mothers in the study said that providers did not inform them of recommendations for breastfeeding or to position infants to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. More than 50% of mothers reported that they received no advice on where their infants should sleep (that is, not sharing the bed with their infants). 


When given, 10% to 15% of the advice from providers on breastfeeding and pacifier use and more than 25% of the advice given on sleep position or location were not consistent with recommendations. Furthermore, African American women, Hispanic women, and first-time mothers were more likely to receive advice from providers than were white women and mothers of two or more children.