Breastfeeding of preterm newborn infants following hospital discharge: follow-up during the first year of life

Maria Dalva Barbosa Baker Méio Letícia Duarte Villela Saint Clair dos Santos Gomes Júnior Camilla Morcelli Tovar Maria Elisabeth Lopes Moreira About the authors


This paper aims to evaluate the prevalence of breastfeeding among premature infants following hospital discharge. Cohort (< 33 gestation weeks) followed up to 12 months (adjusted age). Variables: breastfeeding, anthropometric measurements, social and family information. The proportion of breastfeeding during follow-up was calculated. Survival analysis was conducted to estimate breastfeeding duration. In total, 242 of the 258 infants (93.7%) returned to follow-up; 170 (69.9%) at 6 months and 139 (57.2%) at 12 months (adjusted age). A history of miscarriages (27.5%), stillbirths (11.7%), neonatal deaths (9.5%) and preterm births (21.1%) was noted in 65.5% of women. At hospital discharge: 5.5% received exclusive breastfeeding, 65.8% breastfeeding and formula, 28.6% formula. At month 1, 81.3% received breastfeeding, decreasing to 68.5% at month 2, 62.4% at month 3, 48.1% at month 4 and 22.4% at month 6 (adjusted age). The median of breastfeeding duration was 4 months. Breastfeeding occurred up to four months adjusted age in almost half of the population. Despite the need to improve these rates, the results could reflect the profile of the Child-Friendly Hospital Initiative Unit. Maintaining breastfeeding amongst preterm infants following hospital discharge is still a challenge, for both mothers and health professionals.

Breastfeeding; Newborn; Premature

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