Determinants of Nonmedically Indicated In-Hospital Supplementation of Infants Whose Birthing Parents Intended to Exclusively Breastfeed

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Abstract

Background:

Despite high rates of intention to exclusively breastfeed, rates of exclusive breastfeeding in Canada are low. Supplementation may begin in hospital and is associated with reduced breastfeeding duration.

Research aim:

The aim of this investigation was to explore determinants of in-hospital nonmedically indicated supplementation of infants whose birthing parents intended to exclusively breastfeed.

Methods:

This study is a cross-sectional one-group nonexperimental design, focused on participants who intended to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months (n = 496). Data were collected between October 2011 and October 2015 in Newfoundland and Labrador. Variables measured included age; rural/urban location; education; income; race; marital status; parity; smoking status; having been breastfed as an infant; previous breastfeeding experience; Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale score; delivery mode; infant birth weight; birth satisfaction; skin-to-skin contact; length of participant’s hospital stay; breastfeeding advice from a lactation consultant, registered nurse, or physician; and first impression of breastfeeding. We evaluated determinants of in-hospital nonmedically indicated supplementation using bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses.

Results:

Overall, 16.9% (n = 84) of infants received nonmedically indicated supplementation in hospital. Multivariate modeling revealed four determinants: low total prenatal Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale score (odds ratio [OR] = 1.96, 95% confidence interval [CI] [1.18, 3.27]), no previous breastfeeding experience (OR = 2.03, 95% CI [1.15, 3.61]), negative first impression of breastfeeding (OR = 2.67, 95% CI [1.61, 4.43]), and receiving breastfeeding advice from a hospital physician (OR = 2.86, 95% CI [1.59, 5.15]).

Conclusion:

Elements of the hospital experience, self-efficacy, and attitudes toward infant feeding are determinants of nonmedically indicated supplementation of infants whose birthing parents intended to exclusively breastfeed.

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