Jennifer Aniston in 'Friends'
Jennifer Aniston in 'Friends'

New mothers need three months to feel confident looking after a baby, study finds

Taking on the role of a parent is a tremendous task

Sabrina Barr
Thursday 11 October 2018 16:34

Learning how to be a parent is no easy feat, and not one that can be thoroughly understood without firsthand experience.

While some people may feel like a natural when it comes to looking after a baby, according to recent research, it can take new mothers more than three months to feel like they’ve fully grasped the complex nature of motherhood.

2,000 American mothers with children aged three years old or younger were questioned as part of the study, which was conducted by OnePoll in collaboration with Store Brand Formula.

More than half of the mothers stated that they spent the first few months of their baby’s life frantically worrying about parenting in the wrong way.

Their main worry was their baby’s wellbeing, with many of the mothers expressing concern over their child falling ill.

The second most significant worry was not knowing how much they should feed their baby, with the third main cause for concern being the financial cost of taking care of a child.

More than a fifth of the mothers said that they didn’t feel confident knowing how to feed a baby properly, as they were unaware of the options that were available to them.

According to Dr Jennifer Gardner, a paediatrician and co-author of The Mommy MD Guide to Your Baby’s First Year, knowing how to feed a baby efficiently is essential for their development.

She drew upon the common error that many parents make of adding too much water to the formula.

“Many new mums have the misconception that diluting formula with water will help save money or make it easier for a baby to digest,” she said.

“This is a serious misunderstanding not to be taken lightly because diluting critical nutrients in formula at a time of rapid growth can be dangerous for a baby.”

Furthermore, she explained how parents must always read the instructions on the label of formula before microwaving a baby’s bottle.

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“Microwaving formula bottles can affect ingredients in formula and cause hot spots that can burn a baby’s mouth,” she said.

Earlier this year, a breast pump advert for consumer tech company Elvie caused controversy by comparing breastfeeding mothers to cows.

“Very poor decision using cows to advertise this product,” one person wrote.

“Like us they need to get pregnant and give birth in order to produce milk, except their babies are stolen from them within days of giving birth."

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