Exclusive Breastfeeding among Preterm Low Birth Weight Infants at One Month Follow-up after Hospital Discharge
Background: Establishment and maintenance of breastfeeding in preterm low birth weight (PT LBW) neonates after discharge from hospital is challenging and may be affected by multiple factors. We designed this study to find out the association of these factors with breastfeeding in our population.
Objectives: To observe the rate of exclusive breasrfeeding (EBF) among the PT LBW neonates at one month follow up and to identify the factors that are related with the maintenance of EBF.
Materials and Methods: This observational study was conducted during the period from July 2009 to October 2011 in Enam Medical College Hospital (EMCH). Preterm infants ? 34 wks gestation, stayed in the NICU for >3 days and discharged home were eligible. Mothers were interviewed at one month follow-up after discharge. Infants who were given only breast milk up to 4 weeks were termed as Exclusively breastfed (EBF) and who were given formula milk in addition were labeled as Nonexclusively breastfed (NEBF). Baseline information regarding maternal demography, delivery of the baby, feeding during discharge was taken from database of neonatal ward.
Results: Among 89 infants, 37 (42%) were female and 52 (58%) were male, including 5 twins. Gestational age ranged from 29 to 34 weeks (mean 32±2), and birth weight ranged from 1100 to 2200 grams (mean 1763±20 g). At one month follow up visit 19% (17/89) were found to be NEBF and 81% were EBF. Factors significantly associated with EBF were shorter duration of hospital stay (p=0.001), method of feeding at discharge (p=0.001), mode of delivery (p=0.004), below average socio-economic status (p=0.03), maternal education (p=0.02), number of antenatal visits (p=0.02) and larger birth weight (p=0.038).
Conclusion: A variety of factors may affect EBF in PT LBW babies. Extensive counseling of the mothers during antenatal visits, counseling of the family members regarding the advantages of exclusive breastfeeding is necessary. Support should be provided for the mothers both in the hospital and also outside the hospital for a long period.
J Enam Med Col 2011; 1(1): 24-30
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