A majority of Canadian mothers breastfeed babies soon after they are born, but only a minority nurse exclusively for the recommended six months. (iStock)

Nursing pain not well evaluated, can affect infant health: study

A new study suggests new mothers often suffer severe pain when breastfeeding, that it is not well assessed and may cause them to stop nursing their babies altogether.

Breastfeeding is encouraged in Canada as it has benefits for both mother and baby. Statistics from 2011-12 suggest 89 per cent of mother breastfed their babies and 26 per cent fed their infants this way exclusively for a period of six months.

Scientific evidence suggests breastfeeding has benefits for both mothers and babies. (iStock)

Health care provides lack tools to assess pain, say researchers

Researchers at Western University in Ontario concluded that current measurement tools to assess breastfeeding pain may not give health care providers the whole picture and limit the care they can give to new mothers.

Scientific evidence shows breastfeeding babies decreases childhood infections, lowers the risk of sudden infant death and neonatal mortality rates. It also reduces the risk of childhood diabetes, certain cancers and childhood obesity.

For mothers it lowers the risk of postpartum bleeding and some breast and ovarian cancers.

The study was published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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