Prevalence and Predictors of Exclusive Breastfeeding at Hospital Discharge
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OBJECTIVE: To estimate the population-based prevalence and predictors of exclusive breastfeeding at hospital discharge in singleton and twin term newborns. METHODS: We studied all hospital births in the province of Ontario, Canada, between April 1, 2009, and March 31, 2010, to perform a retrospective cohort study. We included live singleton and twin births, at term (37 0/7 weeks of gestation to 41 6/7 weeks of gestation), with information about feeding at maternal-newborn discharge. Descriptive statistics were performed and logistic regression was used to identify factors related to exclusive breastfeeding. RESULTS: Our study population consisted of 92,364 newborns, of whom 56,865 (61.6%) were exclusively breastfed at discharge. Older, nonsmoking, higher-income mothers with no pregnancy complications or reproductive assistance were more likely to breastfeed. Mothers of twins were less likely to exclusively breastfeed (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 0.30, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.25-0.36) as were women who did not attend prenatal classes (adjusted OR 0.80, 95% CI 0.76-0.83). Compared with patients of obstetricians (57%), women cared for by midwives (87%, adjusted OR 4.49, 95% CI 4.16-4.85) and family physicians (67%, adjusted OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.47-1.61) were more likely to exclusively breastfeed. Breastfeeding after a planned (50%, adjusted OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.52-0.60) or unplanned (48%, adjusted OR 0.48, 95% CI 0.44-0.51) cesarean delivery was less common than after a spontaneous vaginal birth (68%). Neonates born at 39, 38, and 37 weeks of gestation (compared with 41 weeks of gestation) were increasingly less likely to breastfeed (adjusted ORs 0.93, 95% CI 0.89-0.98; 0.84, 95% CI 0.80-0.88; and 0.71, 95% CI 0.67-0.76). CONCLUSION: This large population-based study found that fewer than two thirds of term newborns are exclusively breastfed at hospital discharge, substantially lower than previously reported. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II.
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