HaBIT study

by Claudia Ravaldi
CiaoLapo onlus
CiaoLapo onlus

CiaoLapo promotes the HaBIT survey with the University of Florence.

HaBIT investigates eating habits and the use of supplements during breastfeeding, collecting the stories of women and in parallel the knowledge and habits of operators and health professionals on breastfeeding.

Why does CiaoLapo support HaBIT? We have been dealing with perinatal health and therefore also breastfeeding since we were established. One of the first things I discovered after Lapo’s death was about milk. I have found that losing a full term baby is not enough to avoid milk whipping, and to send the milk away. Milk continues to flow and flow often despite lactation inhibitors, for days, sometimes weeks, after your baby dies. Many mothers, when they lose their baby, more often from the second half of pregnancy onwards, still produce milk, and in this delicate and painful situation they must be treated with sensitivity and competence.

Many of the mothers who enter the CiaoLapo community later have other children.

We call them rainbows (this nickname, born in America many years ago, has spread all over the world) to emphasize the joy they bring to parents and their families: sometimes (frequently) rainbows are accompanied by sporadic storm residues.

One of the most critical moments, after the birth of a rainbow, is represented by breastfeeding, for a series of psychological and practical reasons.

Breastfeeding a baby after having to send milk away for a previous brother / sister is a critical and sometimes painful step. Feelings of guilt, fears and shortcomings reappear. Each of us should be properly supported in this step, unfortunately this is often not the case.

Breastfeeding is useful, it is important for the health of the baby and mother, it is natural. But we are not drinks dispensers, we don’t have any buttons on display to press, sometimes we just don’t know how to do it. Sometimes, around us, no one knows how to do it, and unsolicited or useless advice rains down.

Breastfeeding after bereavement is exhausting. It can be so tiring that it even seems counterproductive to us or to the child.

This mix of emotions and experiences is common to many women, especially when they are struggling with their first child, especially if they have a painful maternity past.

Promoting and participating in scientific research and awareness campaigns on breastfeeding is one of the ways we have to contribute to the dissemination of an adequate culture on this issue and to improve the quality of life of mothers and children. Even after a painful loss.

The HaBIT study

HaBIT (Herbal supplements in Breastfeeding InvesTigation) is a survey that was created to deepen the safety of the use of plant supplements in breastfeeding, but it is also interested in learning about dietary habits and the use of traditional or unconventional practices.

The survey is anonymous and takes place online. It involves filling out a short questionnaire lasting a maximum of 5-10 minutes. People who had participated in the first phase of the survey (which began in 2012) can easily fill it in again if they want (the two phases will be taken into account in the analysis).

The survey consists of a questionnaire for health professionals (and the staff in any capacity involved in breastfeeding support – eg doules, consultants etc etc) and one for mothers who are breastfeeding (or have finished breastfeeding by last 6 months).

The links to the questionnaires and to the description of the study are as follows:

Operators: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/habit

Moms: https://it.surveymonkey.com/r/habit-mamme

We ask you to answer the questionnaire, and to disseminate the links to the survey through your newsletters and your social network channels.

If you have any request in this regard, you can write to [email protected]

Thanks for the precious collaboration.

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