New Moms Aren't Getting the Answers They Need From Their Doctors

Being a mother for the first time can stir up so many emotions. You're so excited to love and raise your new bundle of joy, but also might be nervous about the responsibility. And then, the realization you have no clue what you're doing starts to set in that can make any woman panic. If you were hoping to speak to your physician, you might want to think again, as a new study reveals doctors aren't giving the advice new moms want to hear.

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Published in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, is a report that surveyed new mothers across the U.S. on the newborn advice they received. After all, it's only natural for a first-time mommy to have questions about breastfeeding, vaccines, and the best sleeping positions for a baby (breast side up or down?). With all of the published medical research out there, you would assume doctors had plenty to say, but they are actually keeping tight-lipped with their recommendations. According to the study, more than half of the new moms surveyed revealed their physician didn't provide any advice about where a child should sleep -- and close to 20 percent had nothing to say about breastfeeding.

Do we now have to give a tip in order to get one?

In case you're wondering, this study doesn't imply that doctors are purposely trying to ignore you. In fact, many aren't providing the recommendations mothers want in order to avoid controversy. Others might not agree with the general medical instruction from published research and choose not to go against the grain. I guess if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all?

"As a physician, these findings made me stop and really think about how we communicate important information to new parents," tells Dr. Staci Eisenberg, a pediatrician and lead author on the study. "From a public health perspective, there is a real opportunity to engage families and the media to promote infant health."

More from The Stir: The Most Useful Baby Advice New Moms Will Hear

I had two different doctors with my first and second child, and received differing opinions. One was by-the-book while the other took a more casual approach to things. No matter their opinion, it was great to hear about the recommendations out there, and more importantly, to get their spin -- especially since it can cost a small village just to have access to their expertise. Yes, my husband and I had to come to our own conclusions, but having all the cards on the table definitely helped paint a clearer picture.

Getting tips from peers is invaluable, but that doesn't mean there isn't a need for professional advice. No matter how overwhelming things get, knowledge is still power and can help with decision-making down the road.

 

Image via Blaj Gabriel/shutterstock

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