Extending breastfeeding duration through primary care

Added March 21, 2018

Citation: Oliveira M.I., Camacho L.A., & Tedstone A.E. Extending breastfeeding duration through primary care: A Systematic Review of Prenatal and Postnatal Interventions. Journal of Human Lactation, 2001;17(4):326-43

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Although there is evidence supporting the effectiveness of primary care strategies in extending breastfeeding duration, there is a need for broad-based, well-designed studies testing the effect of the combination of procedures, preferably spanning the prenatal and postnatal periods, to encourage the development of evidence-based protocols concerning the promotion, protection, and support of breastfeeding in primary care.

Breastfeeding can have positive effects on infant’s development and health. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative encouraged hospitals to take up steps to successful breastfeeding. This literature review provides an overview of the effectiveness of strategies and procedures used to extend breastfeeding duration. Sixty-four experimental or quasi-experimental trials were included in this review. Twenty-seven of which were considered to have methodological problems following quality evaluation, given this, the meaningfulness of the results remained questionable. Results showed the most effective form of intervention in extending breastfeeding duration to be those that were intensive and long term, and combined with information, guidance, and support. The only effective form of intervention occurring during prenatal care was group education. Post-natal home visits providing information, problem solving and support for breast feeding, as well as individual education sessions were all shown to be effective. Interventions with no face-to-face interaction, small scale or contain contradicting information, were considered to have no effect.


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