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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


VANNUCHI, Marli T Oliveira et al. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and breastfeeding in a neonatal unit. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2004, vol.38, n.3, pp.422-428. ISSN 0034-8910.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative on breastfeeding practices among newborns admitted to a neonatal unit, during hospitalization and during the first six months of life. METHODS: The medical records of all newborns admitted to the neonatal unit of a teaching hospital in 1994 (N=285) and 1998 (N=368) were reviewed, and information on the infants' feeding practices during hospitalization and during the first six months of life was analyzed. The duration of breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding and the differences between the two years were assessed using the Kaplan-Meier technique and the Log-Rank test. Logistic regression and Cox analysis were performed for confounder control. RESULTS: There was an important increase in the percentage of infants given breast milk exclusively (1.9% in 1994 to 41.7% in 1998) during hospitalization, and feeding with formula alone, observed in 17.7% of infants in 1994, was no longer noted in 1998. With respect to breastfeeding practices during the first six months of life, the median duration of exclusive breastfeeding increased from 12 days in 1994 to 45 days in 1998. As to breastfeeding, which includes the ingestion of other types of food, no significant difference was observed. CONCLUSIONS: The implementation of the initiative in the studied hospital contributed towards an increase in the exclusive breastfeeding of newborn babies during neonatal unit admission and during the first six months of life.

Keywords : Breast feeding; Health promotion; Weaning; Hospitals, teaching; Infant, premature; Infant, low birth weight; Intensive care units, neonatal.

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