Roberto G. Chaves, Joel A. Lamounier, Cibele C. César
J Pediatr (Rio J). 2007;83(3):241-6
Objectives: To determine rates of exclusive breastfeeding and of complementary feeding and to identify variables that interfere with breastfeeding in the municipality of Itaúna, MG, Brazil.
Methods: A longitudinal study was undertaken enrolling 246 women who gave birth at the maternity unit of the Manoel Gonçalves Hospital, in Itaúna, MG. The mothers and their infants were seen monthly for the first 12 months after birth or until they stopped breastfeeding. Survival analysis procedures were used to study the duration of exclusive breastfeeding and of complementary feeding. The impact on breastfeeding duration of a series of co-variables was assessed by means of Cox regression modeling.
Results: The prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months was 5.3%, and for breastfeeding at 12 months it was 33.7%. The median duration of exclusive breastfeeding was 40 days, and median breastfeeding duration was 237 days. Multivariate analysis demonstrated a negative association (p < 0.05) between duration of exclusive breastfeeding and the following variables: intended breastfeeding duration (< 12 months), birth weight of child (< 2,500 g) and use of a pacifier. Shorter breastfeeding duration was associated (p < 0.05) with maternal age (< 20 years), number of prenatal consultations (< 5 and > 9 consultations), use of alcohol or tobacco, delay before first feed (> 6 hours) and use of a pacifier.
Conclusions: Breastfeeding rates in Itaúna (MG) are well below those recommended by the World Health Organization. The principal variables with a negative relationship with duration of exclusive breastfeeding and of complementary feeding are related to mother and baby health care and, therefore, interventions are possible.