Breastfeeding Is Hard. Can Using an Infant Carrier with Your Baby Make It Easier?




Little, Emily E.
Cioffi, Camille C.
Bain, Lisa
Legare, Christine H.
Hahn-Holbrook, Jennifer

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University of Texas at Austin Population Research Center



The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants be fed only breast milk for the first six months of life. However, in the United States, far from all parents breastfeed their infants. Previous studies have shown that parents who spend more time in physical contact with their infants are more likely to detect early hunger cues and breastfeed more frequently than parents who spend less time in physical contact. This brief by Emily Little, executive director of Nurturely, PRC faculty scholar Cristine Legare, and colleagues, reports on a randomized controlled trial in which pregnant parents were randomly assigned to receive an infant carrier before birth or put on a waitlist to receive the carrier when their child was six months old. They found that, compared to parents in the control group, parents who received an infant carrier were more likely to feed their six-month-old breast milk, either partially or exclusively. To improve lactation, they argue that healthcare and workplace policies must take physical proximity between parents and infants into account.

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