Infant feeding policies in maternity wards and their effect on breast-feeding success

Added October 1, 2020

Citation: Pérez-Escamilla R., Pollitt E., Lönnerdal B., et al. Infant feeding policies in maternity wards and their effect on breast-feeding success: An analytical overview. American Journal of Public Health. 1994;84(1):89-97.

This review presents strong evidence that several of the infant feeding programs recommended by WHO and UNICEF can have a positive impact on the chances of lactation. However, it also shows that the impact of other maternity programs could not be properly assessed due to significant methodological problems present in the studies.

Lactation and successful breastfeeding are very important in the first months of a child’s life. Recently there has been a resurgence of interest in how infant feeding programs can be beneficial in influencing successful lactation. This study aims to assess the relationship between maternity practices and successful lactation. Eighteen studies have been included in this review for meta-analysis. The results have shown that commercial baby formulas have a negative effect on successful lactation. Being in the same room as your baby, following breastfeeding advice and breastfeeding on demand have been positively associated with successful breastfeeding and lactation. The effects of very early contact between mother and child, on lactation, are not clearly identified. Supplements provided by hospitals have not been associated with failures to breastfeed. In conclusion, hospital interventions can have beneficial effects on successful lactation.


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