Dr. Faidat Yusuf, a pediatrician, has advised against breastfeeding mothers lying flat on their backs while doing so, citing potential negative health repercussions.
The specialist cautioned against breastfeeding in this posture and added that doing so puts the baby at risk for serious health issues like aspiration, lung infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome.
A baby should be supported when being breastfed, not lay flat on their back, claims the child care specialist.
She went on to say that a mother should carry her infant propped up in a chair while sitting comfortably.
To prevent endangering the baby’s health, the mother, she said, can prop the baby with a pillow and lean the infant toward the breast as she feeds.
Dr. Yusuf, who works at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, explained in an interview that Allub News closely watched. He said, “It is very common to see a mother feeding her child while laying down because it is more convenient for them that way.
But even though it’s handy for the mother, feeding the infant in that posture might occasionally put the youngster at a disadvantage and be bad for their health.
“The risk of aspiration would be the main issue that could result from this. Breast milk is present in the lungs as a result of aspiration, which occurs when food leaves the stomach and flows into the gullet before returning to the lungs.
The primary role of the lungs is to exchange oxygen, and when breast milk is present, it affects this role, making breathing difficult and increasing the risk of lung infections for the infant.
We generally do not advise breastfeeding a kid when they are lying down since newborns’ gastrointestinal tracts are still developing, making it very simple for them to aspirate the contents of their stomach.
The higher chance of ear infections is a further significant health disadvantage an infant may encounter, according to Dr. Yusuf.
Children who are breastfed while lying down have a higher chance of developing ear infections, the woman said. Otitis medium, an infection of the middle airway, is what it is known.
They may experience fever, mid-ear infection, and occasionally ear discharge, all of which could be harmful to them.
The medical professional emphasized that a mother can fall asleep while breastfeeding, which could cause sudden infant death syndrome.
“The youngster is left unattended when a mother is sleeping. She advised against breastfeeding a child while lying down as much as possible because the mother might unintentionally roll over and choke the baby.
Dr. Yusuf also emphasized the necessity for society and both the immediate and extended family to encourage and assist nursing moms, stating that they are constantly weary and that this exhaustion may cause them to breastfeed inadvertently.
According to her, if they receive support and assistance in managing their stress, they will be healthier, happier, and have more time and energy to commit to properly breastfeeding their child to prevent issues.
“The recommended position for women is to sit in a comfortable chair, lean back, and occasionally use a pillow for support while holding up the infant in a propped up position, carrying the child towards the breast, and feeding the child this manner,” the pediatrician continued.
The risk of aspiration is reduced when the kid is propped up, and it is also convenient for the mother since she may relax and rest on her back, decreasing the likelihood that she will fall asleep while nursing.
She added that it would lower the child’s risk of developing ear infections and SIDS.
The posture of the baby’s body is crucial for sustaining a strong attachment and successful breastfeeding, according to a study titled “Breast Feeding Practice: Positioning and Attachment during Breast Feeding Health Facility in Areka Town, Southern Ethiopia.”
An observational checklist that was adapted from the World Health Organization’s breastfeeding observation form was utilized in the study, which was conducted in 2017 but published in 2019 in the International Journal of Pediatrics.
According to the study’s authors’ conclusions, moms—particularly new mothers and those without formal education—deserve additional care, encouragement, and guidance to ensure that they can successfully breastfeed their infants.
“Medical facilities should emphasize the necessity for healthcare professionals to receive current training to enhance their capacity to give breastfeeding counseling and education throughout antenatal and postnatal follow-up.
It would also be preferable, according to the study’s authors, if women were given training in optimal attachment and placement before being monitored by a healthcare professional as they breastfed their child during immediate postnatal care and given feedback on how well they were doing.