Evidently Advent Day 7: best health evidence wrapped up for the festive season!


Paper cut by Freya Millward, 2014


It’s quite hard to look away from this exquisite paper cut, made for us by Freya Millward, but it makes a wonderful introduction to some Cochrane evidence on


  • A review, newly updated, did not find any evidence for disagreement with the recommendation of the World Health Organization and other international health associations that, as a general policy, exclusive breastfeeding, without additional foods or fluids, should be recommended for the first six months after birth
  • A review found no evidence from randomised controlled trials evaluating the effect of baby-led compared with scheduled (or mixed) breastfeeding for successful breastfeeding, for healthy newborns
  • In many cases where mothers are concerned about their milk production they are encouraged to increase their fluid intake but a review has shown that the effect of extra fluids for breastfeeding mothers is unknown

skin-to-skin (kangaroo care)

  • a review showed that skin-to-skin contact between a mother and her baby at birth reduces crying, and helps the mother to breastfeed successfully
  • skin-to-skin also seems to reduce newborn babies’ pain when they are having procedures like a heel prick or injection

A new NICE guideline on intrapartum care has just been issued and draws on almost 40 Cochrane reviews. You can find it here.

Evidently Cochrane has been shortlisted as one of the top 10 health organization blogs in the UK Blog Awards 2015! Do explore the site – we hope there are blogs here to interest everyone. You can also follow us – and talk to us – on Twitter @ukcochranecentr and @SarahChapman30


Becker GE, Remmington T. Early additional food and fluids for healthy breastfed full-term infants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD006462. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006462.pub3 – See more at: http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD006462/PREG_early-additional-food-and-fluids-for-healthy-breastfed-full-term-infants#sthash.sI4F8y4I.dpuf

Fallon A, Van der Putten D, Dring C, Moylett EH, Fealy G, Devane D. Baby-led compared with scheduled (or mixed) breastfeeding for successful breastfeeding. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD009067. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009067.pub2 – See more at: http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD009067/PREG_patterns-of-breastfeeding-according-to-the-baby-or-according-to-the-clock#sthash.MLxK9wdp.dpuf

Ndikom CM, Fawole B, Ilesanmi RE. Extra fluids for breastfeeding mothers for increasing milk production. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD008758. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008758.pub2 – See more at: http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD008758/PREG_extra-fluids-for-breastfeeding-mothers-for-increasing-milk-production#sthash.KVTVwliB.dpuf

Moore ER, Anderson GC, Bergman N, Dowswell T. Early skin-to-skin contact for mothers and their healthy newborn infants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 5. Art. No.: CD003519. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003519.pub3 – See more at: http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD003519/PREG_early-skin-to-skin-contact-for-mothers-and-their-healthy-newborn-infants#sthash.qn7xnrFm.dpuf

Johnston C, Campbell-Yeo M, Fernandes A, Inglis D, Streiner D, Zee R. Skin-to-skin care for procedural pain in neonates. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD008435. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008435.pub2 – See more at: http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD008435/NEONATAL_skin-to-skin-kangaroo-care-with-newborns-cuts-down-procedural-pain#sthash.po3z52uQ.dpuf

National Collaborating Centre for Women’s and Children’s Health. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (commissioner). Intrapartum care: care of healthy women and their babies during childbirth. London: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence; 2014 (NICE CG190) [Issued December 2014]. Available from: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg190/evidence/cg190-intrapartum-care-full-guideline3


Sarah Chapman

About Sarah Chapman

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Sarah's work as a Knowledge Broker at Cochrane UK focuses on disseminating Cochrane evidence through social media, including Evidently Cochrane blogs, blogshots and the ‘Evidence for Everyday’ series for nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and patients. A former registered general nurse, Sarah has a particular interest making evidence accessible and useful to practitioners and to others making decisions about health. Before joining Cochrane, Sarah also worked on systematic reviews for the University of Oxford and the Royal College of Nursing Institute, and obtained degrees in History from the University of Oxford and in the history of women’s health and illness in early modern England (MPhil., University of Reading).

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