Providing infant carrier may up breastfeeding at six months

Providing parents with an infant carrier increases the rates of breastfeeding and expressed human milk feeding at six months postpartum, according to a study published online June 30 in Pediatrics.

Emily E. Little, Ph.D., from Nurturely in Eugene, Oregon, and colleagues conducted a trial between February 2018 and June 2019 in which 50 parents were randomly assigned to receive an ergonomic infant carrier and instructions on proper use and 50 parents were assigned to a waitlist control group, at 30 weeks of gestation. Online surveys were used to assess feeding outcomes at six weeks, three months, and six months postpartum.

The researchers found that compared with control group parents, parents in the intervention group were more likely to be breastfeeding or feeding expressed human milk at six months (68 versus 40 percent). There were no significant differences seen in feeding outcomes at six weeks (78 versus 81 percent) or three months (66 versus 57 percent). There was no difference in exclusive human milk feeding between the intervention and control groups at six weeks (66 versus 49 percent), three months (45 versus 40 percent), or six months (49 versus 26 percent).

“Providing birth parents with an ergonomic infant carrier may be an easy and effective intervention for increasing likelihood of feeding human milk directly at the parent’s breast or chest, or feeding expressed human milk at six months,” the authors write.