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Breastfeeding Patterns Among Six-week-old Term Infants at the University Hospital of the West Indies

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Eighty-nine mothers attending post-natal clinics at the University Hospital of the West Indies were interviewed at six weeks postpartum regarding their breast-feeding patterns and problems. Breastfeeding was practised by 97.8% of the mothers, with 29.9% practising exclusive breastfeeding and 70.1% partial breastfeeding. Only two women were solely bottle feeding. The pattern of breastfeeding was not significantly affected by maternal parity, age, education, employment or socioeconomic status. An intention to wean later (at six months) or when the mother felt the baby was ‘ready,’ was associated with increasing parity, age and further education. Babies who were exclusively breastfed achieved greater weight gain compared with those who partially breastfed but this difference did not achieve statistical significance. Breastfeeding trends appear to have remained stable over the last several years.

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e-Published: 04 Jun, 2013
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