Breastfeeding Outcomes of Women Following Uncomplicated Birth in Hamilton-Wentworth
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OBJECTIVE: To examine infant feeding practices up to 8 weeks postpartum in Hamilton-Wentworth. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of 227 women using a pre-discharge, self-administered questionnaire, medical record review and follow-up telephone interview. RESULTS: Breastfeeding initiation rate was 85%. By 6-8 weeks postpartum, 30% of women had stopped breastfeeding; 55% had switched to formula within the first 14 days. Infants who did not receive supplementation in hospital were 2.49 times more likely than infants who received supplementation to breastfeed for at least 6 weeks. Although 54% of mothers who initiated breastfeeding reported receiving formula gift packs, no association was found. CONCLUSIONS: The breastfeeding initiation rate appears to have increased in Hamilton-Wentworth since 1995. However, this study reinforces the need to address early cessation and infant supplementation, and raises concern about violation of the WHO/UNICEF International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes through mailing of formula coupons.
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