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1.  Maternal sociodemographic characteristics and the use of the Iowa Infant Attitude Feeding Scale to describe breastfeeding initiation and duration in a population of urban, Latina mothers: a prospective cohort study 
The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age. Maternal attitudes toward infant feeding are correlated with chosen feeding method and breastfeeding duration. The Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale (IIFAS) has been used to assess attitudes towards breastfeeding prenatally and is predictive of breastfeeding decisions in certain population groups.
In a cohort of pregnant Latina women recruited from two hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area (n=185), we administered the IIFAS prior to delivery. Information regarding feeding choice, maternal sociodemographic information, and anthropometrics were collected at 6 months and 1 year postpartum. Analysis of predictors for breastfeeding initiation, breastfeeding at 6 and 12 months and exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months were evaluated using multivariate logistic regression adjusting for potential confounders.
In our cohort of Latina mothers, breastfeeding a previous infant was associated with breastfeeding initiation (OR 8.29 [95% CI 1.00, 68.40] p = 0.05) and breastfeeding at 6 months (OR 18.34 [95% CI 2.01, 167.24] p = 0.01). College education was associated with increased exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months (OR 58.67 [95% CI 4.97, 692.08] p = 0.001) and having other children was associated with reduced breastfeeding at six months (OR 0.08 [95% CI 0.01, 0.70] p = 0.02). A higher IIFAS score was not associated with breastfeeding initiation, breastfeeding at 6 or 12 months or exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months of age.
Initial choices about breastfeeding will likely influence future breastfeeding decisions, so breastfeeding interventions should specifically target new mothers. Mothers with other children also need additional encouragement to maintain breastfeeding until 6 months of age. The IIFAS, while predictive of breastfeeding decisions in other population groups, was not associated with feeding decisions in our population of Latina mothers.
PMCID: PMC3711781  PMID: 23835065
Breastfeeding; Latina; Lower socioeconomic status; Obesity
2.  HIV: prevention of mother-to-child transmission  
Clinical Evidence  2011;2011:0909.
Over 2 million children are thought to be living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, of whom over 80% live in sub-Saharan Africa. Without antiretroviral treatment, the risk of HIV transmission from infected mothers to their children is 15% to 30% during gestation or labour, with an additional transmission risk of 10% to 20% associated with prolonged breastfeeding. HIV-1 infection accounts for most infections; HIV-2 is rarely transmitted from mother to child. Transmission is more likely in mothers with high viral loads, advanced disease, or both, in the presence of other sexually transmitted diseases, and with increased exposure to maternal blood. Mixed feeding practices (breast milk plus other liquids or solids) and prolonged breastfeeding are also associated with increased risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical question: What are the effects of measures to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to October 2009 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
We found 53 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria.
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: antiretroviral drugs, different methods of infant feeding, elective caesarean section, immunotherapy, micronutrient supplements, vaginal microbicides, and vitamin supplements.
Key Points
Without active intervention, the risk of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV-1 is high, especially in populations where prolonged breastfeeding is the norm. Without antiviral treatment, the risk of transmission of HIV from infected mothers to their children is approximately 15% to 30% during pregnancy and labour, with an additional transmission risk of 10% to 20% associated with prolonged breastfeeding.HIV-2 is rarely transmitted from mother to child.Transmission is more likely in mothers with high viral loads, advanced HIV disease, or both.Without antiretroviral treatment (ART), 15% to 35% of vertically infected infants die within the first year of life.The long-term treatment of children with ART is complicated by multiple concerns regarding the complications associated with life-long treatment, including adverse effects of antiretroviral drugs, difficulties of adherence across the developmental trajectory of childhood and adolescence, and the development of resistance.From a paediatric perspective, successful prevention of MTCT and HIV-free survival for infants remain the most important focus.
Antiretroviral drugs given to the mother during pregnancy or labour, to the baby immediately after birth, or to the mother and baby reduce the risk of intrauterine and intrapartum MTCT of HIV-1 and when given to the infant after birth and to the mother or infant during breastfeeding reduce the risk of postpartum MTCT of HIV-1.
Reductions in MTCT are possible using multidrug ART regimens. Longer courses of ART are more effective, but the greatest benefit is derived from treatment during late pregnancy, labour, and early infancy.Suppression of the maternal viral load to undetectable levels (below 50 copies/mL) using highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) offers the greatest risk reduction, and is currently the standard of care offered in most resource-rich countries, where MTCT rates have been reduced to 1% to 2%. Alternative short-course regimens have been tested in resource-limited settings where HAART is not yet widely available. There is evidence that short courses of antiretroviral drugs have confirmed efficacy for reducing MTCT. Identifying optimal short-course regimens (drug combination, timing, and cost effectiveness) for various settings remains a focus for ongoing research.The development of viral resistance in mothers and infants after single-dose nevirapine and other short-course regimens that include single-dose nevirapine is of concern. An additional short-course of antiretrovirals with a different regimen during labour and early postpartum, and the use of HAART, may decrease the risk of viral resistance in mothers, and in infants who become HIV-infected despite prophylaxis.World Health Organization guidelines recommend starting prophylaxis with antiretroviral drugs from as early as 14 weeks' gestation, or as soon as possible if women present late in pregnancy, in labour, or at delivery.
Elective caesarean section at 38 weeks may reduce vertical transmission rates (apart from breast-milk transmission). The potential benefits of this intervention need to be balanced against the increased risk of surgery-associated complications, high cost, and feasibility issues. These reservations are particularly relevant in resource-limited settings.
Immunotherapy with HIV hyperimmune globulin seems no more effective than immunoglobulin without HIV antibody at reducing HIV-1 MTCT risk.
Vaginal microbicides have not been demonstrated to reduce HIV-1 MTCT risk.
There is no evidence that supplementation with vitamin A reduces the risk of HIV-1 MTCT, and there is concern that postnatal vitamin A supplementation for mother and infant may be associated with increased risk of mortality.
We don't know whether micronutrients are effective in prevention of MTCT of HIV as we found no RCT evidence on this outcome.
Avoidance of breastfeeding prevents postpartum transmission of HIV, but formula feeding requires access to clean water and health education. The risk of breastfeeding-related HIV transmission needs to be balanced against the multiple benefits that breastfeeding offers. In resource-poor countries, breastfeeding is strongly associated with reduced infant morbidity and improved child survival. Exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months may reduce the risk of HIV transmission compared with mixed feeding, while retaining most of its associated benefits.In a population where prolonged breastfeeding is usual, early, abrupt weaning may not reduce MTCT or HIV-free survival at 2 years compared with prolonged breastfeeding, and may be associated with a higher rate of infant mortality for those infants diagnosed as HIV-infected at <4 months of age. Antiretrovirals given to the mother or the infant during breastfeeding can reduce the risk of HIV transmission in the postpartum period. World Health Organization guidelines recommend that HIV-positive mothers should exclusively breastfeed for the first 6 months, after which time appropriate complementary foods can be introduced. Breastfeeding should be continued for the first 12 months of the infant's life, and stopped only when an adequate diet without breast milk can be provided. Heat- or microbicidal-treated expressed breast milk may offer value in particular settings.
PMCID: PMC3217724  PMID: 21477392
3.  Knowledge, attitude and practice related to infant feeding among women in rural Papua New Guinea: a descriptive, mixed method study 
Despite the well-recognized effectiveness of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant life for reducing infant mortality, adherence to this practice is not widespread in the developing world. Although several studies on infant nutrition practices have been conducted in urban settings of Papua New Guinea (PNG), there is only scant information on infant feeding practices in rural settings. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate knowledge, attitude and practice associated with exclusive breastfeeding in various locations in rural PNG.
A mixed method study using interviews based on a semi-structured questionnaire (n = 140) and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) was conducted among mothers in rural PNG between August and September 2012. Participants were selected using convenience sampling. Included in the study were both primiparous and multiparous mothers with a child below the age of two years. Content analysis was used for qualitative data and descriptive statistics were used for quantitative data.
Whereas most women indicated breastfeeding as a better way to feed babies, knowledge of the reasons for its superiority over infant formula was generally poor. Only 17% of mothers practiced exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months postpartum. Our study showed that the size of the gap between exclusive breastfeeding practice and global recommendations was striking. Taking into account the low educational profile of the participants, the disparity may be explained by the fact that most of the mothers in this study had no formal education on infant feeding.
This study showed a lack of understanding of the importance of and poor adherence to exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months postpartum among rural mothers. As exclusive breastfeeding promotion has been proved to be one of most effective ways to improve infant survival, more attention should be given to it, especially targeting the large proportion of women who missed formal education on infant feeding in school. A proper community-based program including the tools for monitoring its implementation and effectiveness needs to be developed to transform policy recommendations into action in rural PNG.
PMCID: PMC4177191  PMID: 24257483
Exclusive breastfeeding; Bottle feeding; Infant formula; Infant feeding; Papua New Guinea
4.  Association of Breastfeeding With Maternal Control of Infant Feeding at Age 1 Year 
Pediatrics  2004;114(5):e577-e583.
Previous studies have found that breastfeeding may protect infants against future overweight. One proposed mechanism is that breastfeeding, compared with bottle-feeding, may promote maternal feeding styles that are less controlling and more responsive to infant cues of hunger and satiety, thereby allowing infants greater self-regulation of energy intake. The objective of this study was to examine whether preponderance of breastfeeding in the first 6 months of life and breastfeeding duration are associated with less maternal restrictive behavior and less pressure to eat.
We studied 1160 mother–infant pairs in Project Viva, an ongoing prospective cohort study of pregnant mothers and their children. The main outcome measures were mothers’ reports of restricting their children’s food intake and of pressuring their children to eat more food, as measured by a modified Child Feeding Questionnaire (CFQ) at 1 year postpartum. Restriction was defined by strongly agreeing or agreeing with the following question from the modified CFQ: “I have to be careful not to feed my child too much.” We derived a continuous pressure to eat score from 5 questions of the modified CFQ. We used multiple logistic regression to examine the association between preponderance of breastfeeding in the first 6 months of life, breastfeeding duration, and mothers’ restriction of children’s access to food. We used multiple linear regression, both before and after adjusting for several groups of confounders, to predict the effects of breastfeeding on the mothers’ scores for pressuring their children to eat.
The mean (SD) age of the women was 32.4 (4.8) years; 24% of the women were nonwhite, and 32% were primigravidas. At 6 months postpartum, 24% of the mothers were exclusively breastfeeding, 25% were mixed feeding, 41% had weaned, and 10% had fed their infants formula only. The mean (SD) duration of breastfeeding was 6.3 (4.5) months. Thirteen percent of the mothers strongly agreed or agreed with the restriction question. The mean (SD) score on the pressure to eat scale was 5.3 (3.7), and the range was 0 to 20. After adjusting for mothers’ preexisting concerns about their children’s future eating and weight status, as well as sociodemographic, economic, and anthropometric predictors of breastfeeding duration, we found that the longer the mothers breastfed, the less likely they were to restrict their children’s food intake at age 1 year. The adjusted odds ratio was 0.89 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.84–0.95) for each 1-month increment in breastfeeding duration. In addition, we found that compared with mothers who were exclusively formula feeding, mothers who were exclusively breastfeeding at 6 months of age had much lower odds of restricting their children’s food intake at 1 year (odds ratio: 0.27; 95% CI: 0.10–0.72). Preponderance of breastfeeding in the first 6 months of life and breastfeeding duration (β = −0.01 points on the 0–20 scale for each additional 1 month of breastfeeding [95% CI: −0.07 to 0.05]) were not related to mothers’ pressuring their children to eat more.
Mothers who fed their infants breast milk in early infancy and who breastfed for longer periods reported less restrictive behavior regarding child feeding at 1 year. Additional longitudinal studies should examine the extent to which any protective effect of breastfeeding on overweight is explained by decreased maternal feeding restriction.
PMCID: PMC1989686  PMID: 15492358
5.  Breastfeeding in Bolivia – information and attitudes 
BMC Pediatrics  2003;3:4.
The main objective of the present study was to investigate the relationship between the attitudes of the mother and her family towards breastfeeding and the actual feeding pattern in a Bolivian population. A second objective was to study the relationship between breastfeeding information, specified according to source and timing, and feeding pattern.
Cross-sectional interviews with 420–502 Bolivian mothers with an infant less than or equal to 1 year of age. Duration of exclusive breastfeeding, use of prelacteal food and/or colostrum were the main outcome measures.
The attitudes of the mother, her partner (the infant's father) and the infant's grandmother towards breastfeeding did not influence the infant feeding pattern. Women who had received breastfeeding information from health care personnel before birth or on the maternity ward breastfed exclusively for a longer duration (adjusted p = 0.0233) and avoided prelacteal food to a greater extent (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 0.42; 95% confidence interval for adjusted odds ratio (95% CI AOR) = 0.23–0.72). Information from a doctor before birth or on the maternity ward was associated with less use of prelacteal food (AOR = 0.53; 95% CI AOR = 0.31–0.93), an increased use of colostrum (AOR = 3.30; 95% CI AOR = 1.16–9.37), but was not linked to the duration of exclusive breastfeeding (p = 0.1767).
The current study indicates that breastfeeding information delivered by health care personnel in a non-trial setting may affect the infant feeding pattern including the use of prelacteal foods and colostrum. There was no evidence that the attitudes of the mother, or the infant's father or grandmother influenced actual feeding behavior. The lack of a "negative or neutral attitude" towards breastfeeding in the participants of the current study does, however, diminish the chances to link attitude to feeding behavior.
PMCID: PMC161813  PMID: 12769829
6.  Infant feeding practices and breastfeeding duration in Japan: A review 
The Japanese health system places great emphasis on healthy development. However, the prevalence of Exclusive Breastfeeding at one month postpartum between 1980 and 2005 has remained unchanged, fluctuating between 42% and 49%. At the same time, the Any Breastfeeding prevalence has gradually increased from about 80% to 95%. In 2010, the latest national breastfeeding report showed that ‘exclusive’ and ‘any’ breastfeeding rates have improved. However, as the World Health Organization (WHO) definition of breastfeeding practices was not used in this study or in other national surveys, it is difficult to interpret these latest results. While the Japanese government has launched several promotion projects, there have been few studies and reviews of risk factors that influence breastfeeding duration. The objectives of this review were to summarise the factors that have influenced the duration of breastfeeding in Japan to provide information relevant to breastfeeding promotion programs. A search of electronic databases in Japanese and English was undertaken up to 2011. The inclusion criteria for this review were studies that focused on infant feeding practices and targeted Japanese mothers, fathers, or health professionals, but excluded mothers’ friends and peer groups. In total, 12 articles were selected for the final analysis. Smoking status, low birth weight of infants and maternal perceptions of insufficient breast milk supply were negative influences on breastfeeding duration, while support from husbands/partners is associated with continued breastfeeding. Some factors that have been found to be associated with breastfeeding in other countries, including maternal age, family income, maternal educational levels, and living with grandparents of infants have not been confirmed in Japan. While the national breastfeeding rates were higher than other countries of similar health status, inconsistent knowledge of breastfeeding benefits and inappropriate hospital practices remain in Japan may be associated with increased the use of infant formula and reduced breastfeeding duration. Most of the studies reviewed were cross-sectional in design, with only a limited number of cohort studies. Also many published studies used small sample sizes. Cohort studies of infant feeding practices with larger sample sizes are required to monitor trends in rates and risk factors for breastfeeding outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3514256  PMID: 23098220
7.  Knowledge, attitude and practice of breastfeeding in the north of Jordan: a cross-sectional study 
In Jordan, as in neighboring countries in the Middle East, higher education and higher employment rates in recent years among women have had an impact on traditionally based infant feeding. The objective of this study was to evaluate practice, knowledge and attitude to breastfeeding and to assess factors associated with breastfeeding among women in the north of Jordan.
A cross sectional study was carried out between 15 July 2003 and 15 August 2003. A total of 344 women with children aged between 6 months and 3 years from five different villages in the north of Jordan were randomly selected and interviewed. Information regarding participants' demographics, infant feeding in first six months of life, knowledge and attitude towards breastfeeding was collected.
Full breastfeeding was reported by 58.3%, mixed feeding was reported by 30.3% and infant formula feeding was reported by 11.4%. Almost one third of the full breastfeeding group did so for 6–12 months, and almost two thirds did continue breastfeeding for more than one year. Employed women were more likely not to practice full breastfeeding compared to unemployed women (odds ratio 3.34, 95% CI 1.60, 6.98), and women who had caesarian delivery were more likely not to practice full breastfeeding compared to those who had vaginal delivery (odds ratio 2.36, 95% CI 1.17, 4.78). Jordanian women had a positive attitude but work place and short maternity leaves had a negative impact on breastfeeding.
This study showed that a high proportion of Jordanian women did breastfeed for more than one year. However, working women and those who deliver by caesarean section were less likely to breastfeed. It is speculated that adopting facilitatory measures at hospitals and work place could increase the rate of full breastfeeding.
PMCID: PMC1590005  PMID: 16995953
8.  Breastfeeding Concerns at 3 and 7 Days Postpartum and Feeding Status at 2 Months 
Pediatrics  2013;132(4):e865-e875.
We characterized breastfeeding concerns from open-text maternal responses and determined their association with stopping breastfeeding by 60 days (stopping breastfeeding) and feeding any formula between 30 and 60 days (formula use).
We assessed breastfeeding support, intentions, and concerns in 532 expectant primiparas and conducted follow-up interviews at 0, 3, 7, 14, 30, and 60 days postpartum. We calculated adjusted relative risk (ARR) and adjusted population attributable risk (PAR) for feeding outcomes by concern category and day, adjusted for feeding intentions and education.
In 2946 interviews, 4179 breastfeeding concerns were reported, comprising 49 subcategories and 9 main categories. Ninety-two percent of participants reported ≥1 concern at day 3, with the most predominant being difficulty with infant feeding at breast (52%), breastfeeding pain (44%), and milk quantity (40%). Concerns at any postpartum interview were significantly associated with increased risk of stopping breastfeeding and formula use, with peak ARR at day 3 (eg, stopping breastfeeding ARR [95% confidence interval] = 9.2 [3.0–infinity]). The concerns yielding the largest adjusted PAR for stopping breastfeeding were day 7 “infant feeding difficulty” (adjusted PAR = 32%) and day 14 “milk quantity” (adjusted PAR = 23%).
Breastfeeding concerns are highly prevalent and associated with stopping breastfeeding. Priority should be given to developing strategies for lowering the overall occurrence of breastfeeding concerns and resolving, in particular, infant feeding and milk quantity concerns occurring within the first 14 days postpartum.
PMCID: PMC3784292  PMID: 24062375
breastfeeding; infant; lactation; concerns; problems
9.  Breastfeeding Patterns in the Rural Community of Hilo, Hawai‘i: An Exploration of Existing Data Sets 
Before any breastfeeding promotion effort, an understanding of the existing breastfeeding patterns is essential. Hawai‘i County is a rural, ethnically diverse, medically underserved community. The purpose of this study was to describe the breastfeeding patterns of women living in Hilo, Hawai‘i. Data from several existing national, state, and local data sets were accessed to identify and describe the breastfeeding patterns of women in this community. Available breastfeeding data about women in Hilo was obtained from the Hawai‘i WIC program and includes initiation, duration, exclusivity of breastfeeding, and reasons for not breastfeeding. These data were compared to data from published reports available at the county, state, and national level. The State of Hawai‘i and Hilo exceed national targets for breastfeeding initiation; however, rates soon drop following delivery, and mixed feedings of infants is common. The highest percentage of mothers weaned their infants within the first four weeks postpartum. The reasons the majority of the mothers gave for weaning were tied to breastfeeding situations that are amenable to skilled lactation support (eg, milk supply issues and latch or sucking problems). While available data sets offer valuable information on the breastfeeding patterns in this rural community, there are limitations to their usefulness, primarily due to the inconsistent operational definitions of infant feeding variables used in the surveys, and the lack of availability of community level data.
PMCID: PMC3602946  PMID: 23520565
10.  A rapid ethnographic study of breastfeeding in the North and South of Italy 
The past ten years have witnessed a rising trend in the prevalence and duration of breastfeeding in Italy, but breastfeeding rates increase in an unequal way; they are higher in the North of Italy than in the South. The purpose of this study was to describe the experiences, expectations and beliefs of a sample of mothers, and to identify differences, if any, between the North and the South of Italy.
The study was conducted in two regions of Italy, Friuli Venezia Giulia in the Northeast and Basilicata in the South. Two hundred and seventy-nine mothers of infants and children 6 to 23 months of age were interviewed using an 85-item questionnaire including closed and open questions on infant feeding experiences and beliefs, sources of information and support, reasons for intended and actual choices and practices, and some demographic and social variables. Face-to-face interviews were conducted between May 2001 and September 2002. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used for data analysis.
The distribution of the mothers by age, education, employment and parity did not differ from that of the general population of the two regions. The reported rates of initiation and duration of breastfeeding were also similar: 95% started breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding was 32% at three and 9% at six months, with 64% and 35% of any breastfeeding, respectively. Some differences were reported in the rates of full breastfeeding, reflecting different ages of introduction of non-nutritive fluids. These, as well as nutritive fluids – including infant formula – and complementary foods, were introduced far too early. Advice on infant feeding was generally provided by health professionals and often was not based on up-to-date recommendations. Mothers were generally aware of the advantages of breastfeeding, but at the same time reported problems that they were not able to solve alone or through social and health system support. Most mothers would welcome the support of a peer counsellor. More mothers in Basilicata than in Friuli Venezia Giulia reported difficulties with breastfeeding related to returning to work and were not familiar with their rights on breastfeeding and maternity leave.
Programmes for the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding in these and similar regions of Italy should concentrate on better training of health professionals with regards to lactation management, communication, and counselling skills. The addition of trained peer counsellors could reinforce the work done by the health system and, through community involvement, could help change social prejudice in the mid- and long-term. The differences between regions should be taken into account in formulating these programmes to avoid increasing, and possibly to decrease, the current gaps.
PMCID: PMC1570447  PMID: 16952324
11.  Breastfeeding and weaning practices among Hong Kong mothers: a prospective study 
Breastfeeding provides optimal and complete nutrition for newborn babies. Although new mothers in Hong Kong are increasingly choosing to breastfeed their babies, rates of exclusive breastfeeding are low and duration remains short. The purpose of this study was to describe the breastfeeding and weaning practices of Hong Kong mothers over the infant's first year of life to determine the factors associated with early cessation.
A cohort of 1417 mother-infant pairs was recruited from the obstetric units of four public hospitals in Hong Kong in the immediate post-partum period and followed prospectively for 12 months or until weaned. We used descriptive statistics to describe breastfeeding and weaning practices and multiple logistic regression to investigate the relationship between maternal characteristics and breastfeeding cessation.
At 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months only 63%, 37.3%, 26.9%, and 12.5% of the infants respectively, were still receiving any breast milk; approximately one-half of breastfeeding mothers were exclusively breastfeeding. Younger mothers, those with a longer duration of residence in Hong Kong, and those returning to work postpartum were more likely to wean before 1 month. Mothers with higher education, previous breastfeeding experience, who were breastfed themselves and those who were planning to exclusively breastfeed and whose husbands preferred breastfeeding were more likely to continue breastfeeding beyond 1 month. The introduction of infant formula before 1 month and returning to work postpartum were predictive of weaning before 3 months.
Breastfeeding promotion programs have been successful in achieving high rates of breastfeeding initiation but the focus must now shift to helping new mothers exclusively breastfeed and sustain breastfeeding for longer.
PMCID: PMC2887376  PMID: 20509959
12.  Infant feeding information, attitudes and practices: a longitudinal survey in central Nepal 
Infant feeding is governed by environmental as well as cultural factors. Breastfeeding knowledge and attitudes are known to be associated with breastfeeding duration. This study investigated breastfeeding information, attitudes and supplementary feeding in the central hills district of Nepal.
A community-based prospective cohort study of 701 pregnant women was conducted. Information on breastfeeding attitudes, feeding practices and supplementary feeding was sought from the cohort at 4 weeks, 12 weeks and 22 weeks postpartum through repeated interviews using validated questionnaires.
Average duration of intended breastfeeding was 28 months (SD 7.9) and average target time to introduce solid foods was 6.1 months (SD 1.2). About 80% of women reported their husband, mother/mother-in-law preferred breastfeeding. Eleven percent of the cohort said that breastfeeding was not enjoyable. At 12 weeks and 22 weeks after birth, about a quarter (24.8%) and half (52.8%) of the infants were introduced cow/buffalo milk, respectively, while only 6.3% and 13.4% of them were given infant formula. Overall, any breastfeeding rate remained high at over 98% throughout the follow up period.
Breastfeeding attitudes were encouraging in this population. Breastfeeding was almost universal. Use of infant formula was quite low, whereas cow or buffalo milk appeared to be popular supplementary foods.
PMCID: PMC4149806  PMID: 25177355
Attitude; Breastfeeding; Feeding practice; Nepal
13.  Supporting breastfeeding In Local Communities (SILC): protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial 
Breastfeeding is associated with significant positive health outcomes for mothers and infants. However, despite recommendations from the World Health Organization, exclusive breastfeeding for six months is uncommon. Increased breastfeeding support early in the postpartum period may be effective in improving breastfeeding maintenance. This trial will evaluate two community-based interventions to increase breastfeeding duration in Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Victoria, Australia.
A three-arm cluster randomised controlled trial design will be used. Victorian LGAs with a lower than average rate of any breastfeeding at discharge from hospital and more than 450 births per year that agree to participate will be randomly allocated to one of three trial arms: 1) standard care; 2) home-based breastfeeding support; or 3) home-based breastfeeding support plus access to a community-based breastfeeding drop-in centre. The services provided in LGAs allocated to ‘standard care’ are those routinely available to postpartum women. LGAs allocated to the home-based visiting intervention will provide home-visits to women who are identified as at risk of breastfeeding cessation in the early postnatal period. These visits will be provided by Maternal and Child Health Nurses who have received training to provide the intervention (SILC-MCHNs). In areas allocated to receive the second intervention, in addition to home-based breastfeeding support, community breastfeeding drop-in centres will be made available, staffed by a SILC-MCHN. The interventions will run in LGAs for a nine to twelve month period depending on birth numbers. The primary outcome is the proportion of infants receiving any breast milk at four months of age. Breastfeeding outcomes will be obtained from routinely collected Maternal and Child Health centre data and from a new data item collecting infant feeding ‘in the last 24 hours’. Information will also be obtained directly from women via a postal survey. A comprehensive process evaluation will be conducted.
This study will determine if early home-based breastfeeding support by a health professional for women at risk of stopping breastfeeding, with or without access to a community-based breastfeeding drop-in centre, increases breastfeeding duration in Victorian LGAs with low breastfeeding rates.
Trial registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12611000898954.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2393-14-346) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4287548  PMID: 25281300
Breastfeeding; Infant feeding; Randomised controlled trial; Early professional breastfeeding support; Local government; Maternal and child health; Postnatal; Community-based; Drop-in centre; Home visits
14.  Breastfeeding practices in a cohort of inner-city women: the role of contraindications 
BMC Public Health  2003;3:28.
Little is known about the role of breastfeeding contraindications in breastfeeding practices. Our objectives were to 1) identify predictors of breastfeeding initiation and duration among a cohort of predominately low-income, inner-city women, and 2) evaluate the contribution of breastfeeding contraindications to breastfeeding practices.
Mother-infant dyads were systematically selected from 3 District of Columbia hospitals between 1995 and 1996. Breastfeeding contraindications and potential predictors of breastfeeding practices were identified through medical record reviews and interviews conducted after delivery (baseline). Interviews were conducted at 3–7 months postpartum and again at 7–12 months postpartum to determine breastfeeding initiation rates and duration. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to identify baseline factors associated with initiation of breastfeeding. Cox proportional hazards models were generated to identify baseline factors associated with duration of breastfeeding.
Of 393 study participants, 201 (51%) initiated breastfeeding. A total of 61 women (16%) had at lease one documented contraindication to breastfeeding; 94% of these had a history of HIV infection and/or cocaine use. Of the 332 women with no documented contraindications, 58% initiated breastfeeding, vs. 13% of women with a contraindication. In adjusted analysis, factors most strongly associated with breastfeeding initiation were presence of a contraindication (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 0.19; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.08–0.47), and mother foreign-born (AOR, 4.90; 95% CI, 2.38–10.10). Twenty-five percent of study participants who did not initiate breastfeeding cited concern about passing dangerous things to their infants through breast milk. Factors associated with discontinuation of breastfeeding (all protective) included mother foreign-born (hazard ratio [HR], 0.55; 95% CI 0.39–0.77) increasing maternal age (HR for 5-year increments, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.69–0.92), and infant birth weight ≥ 2500 grams (HR, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.26–0.80).
Breastfeeding initiation rates and duration were suboptimal in this inner-city population. Many women who did not breastfeed had contraindications and/or were concerned about passing dangerous things to their infants through breast milk. It is important to consider the prevalence of contraindications to breastfeeding when evaluating breastfeeding practices in high-risk communities.
PMCID: PMC194636  PMID: 12930560
15.  Does Delayed Onset Lactogenesis II Predict the Cessation of Any or Exclusive Breastfeeding? 
The Journal of pediatrics  2012;161(4):608-614.
Delayed onset of lactogenesis II (initiation of copious milk production) is frequently been utilized as an outcome but only twice as a hypothesis-testing exposure variable. It remains unclear if previous results are replicable in a large nationally representative population. We evaluated the association between delayed lactogenesis II (>3 days postpartum; DLII) and the cessation of any and exclusive breastfeeding at 4-weeks postpartum.
Study Design
We constructed multivariable logistic regression models using data from 2491 mothers enrolled in the prospective Infant Feeding Practice Study II cohort. Models included DLII, known risk factors for breastfeeding cessation (age, education, race, parity/previous breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding plan) and potential confounders identified in bivariate analyses (p≤ 0.1). Backward selection processes (p≤ 0.1) determined risk factor retention in the final model.
DLII was associated with cessation of any and exclusive breastfeeding at 4-weeks postpartum (OR: 1.62; CI: 1.14–2.31; OR: 1.62; CI 1.18–2.22 respectively); numerous independent risk factors qualified for inclusion in the multivariable model(s) and were associated with the outcome(s) of interest (e.g. WIC enrollment, onset of prenatal care, feeding on-demand, time initiated first breastfeed, hospital rooming-in, obstetric provider preference for exclusive breastfeeding and maternal tobacco use).
Women experiencing DLII may be less able to sustain any and/or exclusive breastfeeding in the early postpartum period. These findings have significant clinical and programmatic implications. Routine assessment of DLII in postpartum breastfeeding follow-up is warranted, and women with DLII may benefit from additional early postpartum interventions to support favorable breastfeeding outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3670592  PMID: 22575242
lactation; infant feeding; lactogenesis; maternal child nursing
16.  Need to optimise infant feeding counselling: A cross-sectional survey among HIV-positive mothers in Eastern Uganda 
BMC Pediatrics  2009;9:2.
The choice of infant feeding method is important for HIV-positive mothers in order to optimise the chance of survival of their infants and to minimise the risk of HIV transmission. The aim of this study was to investigate feeding practices, including breastfeeding, in the context of PMTCT for infants and children under two years of age born to HIV-positive mothers in Uganda.
In collaboration with The Aids Support Organisation Mbale, we conducted a cross-sectional survey involving 235 HIV-positive mothers in Uganda. Infant feeding practices, reasons for stopping breastfeeding, and breast health problems were studied. Breastfeeding duration was analysed using the Kaplan-Meier method based on retrospective recall.
Breastfeeding was initiated by most of the mothers, but 20 of them (8.5%) opted exclusively for replacement feeding. Pre-lacteal feeding was given to 150 (64%) infants and 65 (28%) practised exclusive breastfeeding during the first three days. One-fifth of the infants less than 6 months old were exclusively breastfed, the majority being complementary fed including breast milk. The median duration of breastfeeding was 12 months (95% confidence interval [CI] 11.5 to 12.5). Adjusted Cox regression analysis indicated that a mother's education, socio-economic status, participation in the PMTCT-program and her positive attitude to breastfeeding exclusively, were all associated with a reduction in breastfeeding duration. Median duration was 3 months (95% CI 0–10.2) among the most educated mothers, and 18 months (95% CI 15.0–21.0) among uneducated mothers. Participation in the PMTCT program and being socio-economically better-off were also associated with earlier cessation of breastfeeding (9 months [95% CI 7.2–10.8] vs. 14 months [95% CI 10.8–17.2] and 8 months [95% CI 5.9–10.1] vs. 17 months [95% CI 15.2–18.8], respectively). The main reasons for stopping breastfeeding were reported as: advice from health workers, maternal illness, and the HIV-positive status of the mother.
Exclusive breastfeeding was uncommon. Exclusive replacement feeding was practised by few HIV-positive mothers. Well-educated mothers, mothers who were socio-economically better-off and PMTCT-attendees had the shortest durations of breastfeeding. Further efforts are needed to optimise infant feeding counselling and to increase the feasibility of the recommendations.
PMCID: PMC2657132  PMID: 19134187
17.  Predictors of exclusive breastfeeding: observations from the Alberta pregnancy outcomes and nutrition (APrON) study 
BMC Pediatrics  2013;13:77.
Despite growing evidence that supports the importance of 6-month exclusive breastfeeding, few Canadian mothers adhere to this, and early weaning onto solids is a common practice. This study assessed infant feeding transitions during the first 6 months postpartum and factors that predicted exclusive breastfeeding to 3 and 6 months.
This prospective cohort study was part of the Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition study (APrON). From an initial sample of 600 pregnant women recruited from Edmonton and Calgary, 402 mothers provided complete details at 3 months postpartum; 300 stayed on to provide information at 6 months postpartum. During pregnancy and at 3 and 6 months postpartum, data on maternal and infant socio-demographic, behavior, and feeding were collected.
Even though there was a high rate of “ever having breastfed” (98.6%), exclusive breastfeeding rates for 3 and 6 months were 54.0% and 15.3%, respectively. After controlling for potential confounders, the study showed that mothers who held post-graduate university degrees were 3.76 times more likely to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months than those without a university degree (95% CI: 1.30-10.92; p = 0.015). In addition, mother of previous children were more likely to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months (OR: 2.21, 95% CI: 1.08-4.52; p = 0.031). Mothers who were in the highest quartile of the Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Score were 4.29 and 5.40 times more likely to breastfeed exclusively for 3 months (95% CI: 1.31-14.08; p-trend < 0.001) and 6 months (95% CI: 2.75-10.60; P-trend < 0.001), respectively.
The 6-month exclusive breastfeeding rate in Alberta is considerably below national and international breastfeeding recommendations. Professional advice that focuses on prenatal maternal knowledge, attitudes, and misperceptions may promote adherence to World Health Organization breastfeeding guidelines. Knowing that exclusive breastfeeding is less likely to take place among lower-educated, primiparous women may help health practitioners focus their support and education for this group.
PMCID: PMC3660294  PMID: 23679578
Exclusive breastfeeding; Predictors; Canada; Alberta pregnancy outcomes; Nutrition study
18.  Effect of infant feeding on maternal body composition 
Women gain total body weight and accrue body fat during pregnancy. Breastfeeding has been suggested as an efficient means of promoting postpartum weight loss due to its high energy cost. We investigated the effect of infant feeding mode on maternal body composition.
This study evaluated maternal weight and percent body fat changes in exclusively breastfeeding versus mixed feeding mothers during the first 12 weeks postpartum using the BOD POD. Twenty four mothers aged 19 – 42 years were studied. Participants were recruited from Athens-Clarke County and surrounding areas of the State of Georgia, USA. The study was conducted between November 2005 and December 2006.
Prepregnancy weight was higher in mixed feeding mothers than in exclusively breastfeeding mothers (68.4 kg vs. 61.4 kg) but the difference was not statistically significant. At 12 weeks postpartum, exclusively breastfeeding mothers had lost more total body weight than mixed feeding mothers (4.41 ± 4.10 kg versus 2.79 ± 3.09 kg; p = 0.072). There was no significant difference in fat weight change between the two groups (4.38 ± 2.06 kg versus 4.17 ± 2.63 kg). However, mixed feeding mothers lost slightly more percent body fat than exclusively breastfeeding mothers (1.90 ± 4.18 kg versus 1.71 ± 3.48 kg), but the difference was not statistically significant. The trend in percent body fat loss was significant among exclusively breastfeeding mothers (p = 0.034) but not mixed feeding mothers (p = 0.081). Exclusively breastfeeding mothers consumed more calories than mixed feeding mothers (1980 ± 618 kcal versus 1541 ± 196 kcal p = 0.08). Physical activity levels were, however, higher in mixed feeding mothers than exclusively breastfeeding mothers.
Our results provide further evidence that exclusive breastfeeding promotes greater weight loss than mixed feeding among mothers even in the early postpartum period. This suggests that there is the need to encourage mothers to exclusively breastfeed as a means of overweight and obesity prevention.
PMCID: PMC2519058  PMID: 18684325
19.  What Predicts Intent to Breastfeed Exclusively? Breastfeeding Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs in a Diverse Urban Population 
Breastfeeding Medicine  2011;6(6):413-420.
Maternal knowledge and comfort with breastfeeding affect prenatal feeding intentions, and these intentions are strong predictors of feeding outcomes. However, predictors of exclusive breastfeeding intention have not been well characterized.
We measured the association between intentions to exclusively breastfeed and knowledge of infant health benefits, feeding guidelines, and comfort related to breastfeeding in social settings. Participants were lower-income, ethnically diverse women in two randomized, controlled trials of breastfeeding support. We compared results with data from the national Infant Feeding Practices Study II.
Among 883 women in our trials, exclusive breastfeeding, mixed feeding, and exclusive formula feeding intentions were 45.9%, 46.1%, and 8.0%, respectively. In multivariate-adjusted models, women who disagreed that “Infant formula is as good as breastmilk” were more likely to intend exclusive breastfeeding versus exclusive formula feeding (odds ratio 3.44, 95% confidence interval 1.80–6.59) compared with women who agreed with this statement. Increasing levels of agreement that breastfed infants were less likely to develop ear infections, respiratory infections, diarrhea, and obesity were positively associated with intentions to exclusively breastfeed (p for trend < 0.001 for all). Compared with the national sample, our study participants were more likely to agree with all of these statements. Women who felt comfortable breastfeeding in public intended to exclusive breastfeed for 0.84 month longer (95% confidence interval 0.41–1.28) than those who felt uncomfortable.
Maternal knowledge about infant health benefits, as well as comfort with breastfeeding in social settings, was directly related to intention to exclusively breastfeed. Prenatal interventions that address these issues may increase exclusive breastfeeding intention and duration.
PMCID: PMC3263301  PMID: 21342016
20.  A complex breastfeeding promotion and support intervention in a developing country: study protocol for a randomized clinical trial 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:36.
Breastfeeding has countless benefits to mothers, children and community at large, especially in developing countries. Studies from Lebanon report disappointingly low breastfeeding exclusivity and continuation rates. Evidence reveals that antenatal breastfeeding education, professional lactation support, and peer lay support are individually effective at increasing breastfeeding duration and exclusivity, particularly in low-income settings. Given the complex nature of the breastfeeding ecosystem and its barriers in Lebanon, we hypothesize that a complex breastfeeding support intervention, which is centered on the three components mentioned above, would significantly increase breastfeeding rates.
A multi-center randomized controlled trial. Study population: 443 healthy pregnant women in their first trimester will be randomized to control or intervention group. Intervention: A “prenatal/postnatal” professional and peer breastfeeding support package continuing till 6 months postpartum, guided by the Social Network and Social Support Theory. Control group will receive standard prenatal and postnatal care. Mothers will be followed up from early pregnancy till five years after delivery. Outcome measures: Total and exclusive breastfeeding rates, quality of life at 1, 3 and 6 months postpartum, maternal breastfeeding knowledge and attitudes at 6 months postpartum, maternal exclusive breastfeeding rates of future infants up to five years from baseline, cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analyses of the intervention. Statistical analysis: Descriptive and regression analysis will be conducted under the intention to treat basis using the most recent version of SPSS.
Exclusive breastfeeding is a cost-effective public health measure that has a significant impact on infant morbidity and mortality. In a country with limited healthcare resources like Lebanon, developing an effective breastfeeding promotion and support intervention that is easily replicated across various settings becomes a priority. If positive, the results of this study would provide a generalizable model to bolster breastfeeding promotion efforts and contribute to improved child health in Lebanon and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN17875591
PMCID: PMC3898488  PMID: 24428951
Breastfeeding; Lay support; Cost analysis; Lactation support; Knowledge; Attitudes; Social network; Social support theory
21.  Breastfeeding, Brain Activation to Own Infant Cry, and Maternal Sensitivity 
Research points to the importance of breastfeeding for promoting close mother-infant contact and social-emotional development. Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have identified brain regions related to maternal behaviors. However, little research has addressed the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the relationship between breastfeeding and maternal behavior in human mothers. We investigated the associations between breastfeeding, maternal brain response to own infant stimuli, and maternal sensitivity in the early postpartum.
Seventeen biological mothers of healthy infants participated in two matched groups according to feeding method – exclusive breastfeeding and exclusive formula-feeding at 2-4 weeks postpartum. fMRI scanning was conducted in the first postpartum month to examine maternal brain activation in response to her own baby's cry versus control baby-cry. Dyadic interactions between mothers and infants at 3-4 months postpartum were videotaped in the home and blindly coded for maternal sensitivity.
In the first postpartum month, breastfeeding mothers showed greater activations in the superior frontal gyrus, insula, precuneus, striatum, and amygdala while listening to their own baby-cry as compared to formula-feeding mothers. For both breastfeeding and formula-feeding mothers, greater activations in the right superior frontal gyrus and amygdala were associated with higher maternal sensitivity at 3-4 months postpartum.
Results suggest links between breastfeeding and greater response to infant cues in brain regions implicated in maternal-infant bonding and empathy during the early postpartum. Such brain activations may facilitate greater maternal sensitivity as infants enter their social world.
PMCID: PMC3134570  PMID: 21501165
breastfeeding; infancy; maternal sensitivity; mother-infant interaction; neuroimaging
22.  Nutrition: Basis for Healthy Children and Mothers in Bangladesh 
Recent data from the World Health Organization showed that about 60% of all deaths, occurring among children aged less than five years (under-five children) in developing countries, could be attributed to malnutrition. It has been estimated that nearly 50.6 million under-five children are malnourished, and almost 90% of these children are from developing countries. Bangladesh is one of the countries with the highest rate of malnutrition. The recent baseline survey by the National Nutrition Programme (NNP) showed high rates of stunting, underweight, and wasting. However, data from the nutrition surveillance at the ICDDR, B hospital showed that the proportion of children with stunting, underweight, and wasting has actually reduced during 1984–2005. Inappropriate infant and young child-feeding practices (breastfeeding and complementary feeding) have been identified as a major cause of malnutrition. In Bangladesh, although the median duration of breastfeeding is about 30 months, the rate of exclusive breastfeeding until the first six months of life is low, and practice of appropriate complementary feeding is not satisfactory. Different surveys done by the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation (BBF) showed a rate of exclusive breastfeeding to be around 32-52%, which have actually remained same or declined over time. The NNP baseline survey using a strict definition of exclusive breastfeeding showed a rate of exclusive breastfeeding (12.8%) until six months of age. Another study from the Abhoynagar field site of ICDDR, B reported the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding to be 15% only. Considerable efforts have been made to improve the rates of exclusive breastfeeding. Nationally, initiation of breastfeeding within one hour of birth, feeding colostrum, and exclusive breastfeeding have been promoted through the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) implemented and supported by BBF and UNICEF respectively. Since most (87-91%) deliveries take place in home, the BFHI has a limited impact on the breastfeeding practices. Results of a few studies done at ICDDR, B and elsewhere in developing countries showed that the breastfeeding peer-counselling method could substantially increase the rates of exclusive breastfeeding. Results of a study in urban Dhaka showed that the rate of exclusive breastfeeding was 70% among mothers who were counselled compared to only 6% who were not counselled. Results of another study in rural Bangladesh showed that peer-counselling given either individually or in a group improved the rate of exclusive breastfeeding from 89% to 81% compared to those mothers who received regular health messages only. This implies that scaling up peer-counselling methods and incorporation of breastfeeding counselling in the existing maternal and child heath programme is needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of improving child survival. The recent data showed that the prevalence of starting complementary food among infants aged 6-9 months had increased substantially with 76% in the current dataset. However, the adequacy, frequency, and energy density of the complementary food are in question. Remarkable advances have been made in the hospital management of severely-malnourished children. The protocolized management of severe protein-energy malnutrition at the Dhaka hospital of ICDDR, B has reduced the rate of hospital mortality by 50%. A recent study at ICDDR, B has also documented that home-based management of severe protein-energy malnutrition without follow-up was comparable with a hospital-based protocolized management. Although the community nutrition centres of the NNP have been providing food supplementation and performing growth monitoring of children with protein-energy malnutrition, the referral system and management of complicated severely-malnourished children are still not in place.
PMCID: PMC2740711  PMID: 18831228
Child nutrition; Maternal nutrition; Nutrition disorders; Nutritional status; Protein-energy malnutrition; Bangladesh
23.  A mixed methods evaluation of peer support in Bristol, UK: mothers’, midwives’ and peer supporters’ views and the effects on breastfeeding 
International studies suggest that breastfeeding interventions in primary care are more effective than usual care in increasing short and long term breastfeeding rates. Interventions that combine pre- and postnatal components have larger effects than either alone, and those that including lay support in a multicomponent intervention may be more beneficial. Despite the mixed reports of the effectiveness of breastfeeding peer support in the UK, targeted peer support services are being established in many areas of the UK. In 2010, NHS Bristol Primary Care Trust commissioned a targeted breastfeeding peer support service for mothers in 12 lower socio-economic areas of the city, with one antenatal visit and postnatal contact for up to 2 weeks.
Mothers receiving the peer support service were invited to complete an on-line survey covering infant feeding; breastfeeding support; and confidence in breastfeeding (using the Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale). Semi-structured interviews and a focus group explored perceptions of mothers, midwives and peer supporters. The effects of the service on breastfeeding rates were documented and compared.
163 mothers completed the on-line survey; 25 participants were interviewed (14 mothers, 7 peer supporters and 4 maternity health professionals); exclusive and total breastfeeding rates for initiation and at 8 weeks were compared for 12 months before and after the service started.
The targeted peer support service was associated with small non-significant increases in breastfeeding rates, (particularly exclusive breastfeeding), compared to the rest of the city. The service was very positively evaluated by mothers, health professionals and peer supporters. Mothers felt that peer support increased their confidence to breastfeed; peer supporters found the contacts rewarding, enjoyable and important for mothers; midwives and maternity support workers were positive about the continuity of an antenatal visit and postnatal support from the same local supporter.
The introduction of a targeted peer support service was associated with psycho-social benefits for mothers, health professionals and peer supporters. Continuity of peer support with an antenatal visit and postnatal support from the same local supporter was also thought to be beneficial.
PMCID: PMC3854768  PMID: 24139326
Breastfeeding; Peer support; Self-efficacy; Survey; Qualitative; Evaluation
24.  ‘I did not feel like a mother’: The success and remaining challenges to exclusive formula feeding among HIV-positive women in Brazil 
AIDS care  2013;25(6):726-731.
Exclusive and safe formula feeding can eliminate the risk of vertical HIV transmission due to breastfeeding. Therefore many countries advise all HIV-positive women to avoid breastfeeding their infants. However, little research explores the experiences of women attempting to exclusively formula feed (EFF) in countries with free and universal access to HAART. This article examines the success of Brazil in supporting HIV-positive women as they EFF their infants. We conducted in-depth interviews with 30 HIV-positive women receiving care at the primary facility for HIV/AIDS in Salvador, Brazil about their attitudes and practices related to EFF as well as challenges with adhering to EFF. All interviews were recorded, professionally transcribed and translated, and then analyzed. Our results showed that one woman reported both breastfeeding and formula feeding her infant; all others reported EFF. Postpartum counseling regarding the risk of HIV transmission through breastfeeding was the primary motivation for EFF. Challenges included difficulty reconciling their perceptions that breastfeeding is an important maternal responsibility, trouble accepting that breastfeeding can cause potential to harm their infants, confronting HIV-related stigma associated with EFF, and unexpected financial burdens due to EFF. We conclude that HIV-positive women adhered to national guidelines recommending EFF; this phenomenon has likely contributed to declining rates of vertical transmission in Brazil. Despite this success, many women experienced challenges with EFF. Greater support services may enhance Brazil’s success in empowering HIV-positive women and eliminating vertical HIV transmission via breastfeeding.
PMCID: PMC4165344  PMID: 23711175
HIV/AIDS; exclusive breast feeding; exclusive formula feeding; Brazil
25.  Breastfeeding in Saudi Arabia: a review 
Breastfeeding is viewed as the optimal method of infant feeding that provides many benefits to both the infant and the mother. The monitoring and reporting of breastfeeding indicators are essential for any country to plan and implement effective promotion programs for sustainable breastfeeding. The aim of this review is to examine the available studies and data on breastfeeding in Saudi Arabia, and determine the potential factors that affect breastfeeding practices and duration in this country.
The databases of Web of Knowledge, Science Direct and PubMed were searched using the relevant key words. Only studies that reported breastfeeding practices, rates and indicators in Saudi Arabia were included. Standard WHO definitions for breastfeeding categories were used in this review.
Seventeen cross-sectional studies were identified and reviewed and five stated they used standard definitions. The self-administered questionnaire as a measurement tool was the predominant method of data collection. Infants' ages range from less than six months up to five years. Initiation rates were high (mostly above 90%), but a few studies reported low rates of timely initiation (within the first hour). The exclusive breastfeeding rate could not be accurately determined as rates range from 0.8% to 43.9% among studies due to the lack of clear definitions and the nature of study design. The partial (mixed) feeding method was common and the category of 'any breastfeeding' has generally high rates. The mean duration of breastfeeding has showed a progressive decline over time from 13.4 months in 1987 to 8.5 months in 2010. Factors associated with a high prevalence of breastfeeding and longer duration include increased maternal age, low educational levels, rural residence, low income, multiparity and avoiding contraceptives. The most common reason for breastfeeding cessation was insufficient breast milk. Other reasons include sickness, new pregnancy and breastfeeding problems.
Breastfeeding indicators in Saudi Arabia could not be monitored or compared relying on the available data because no longitudinal studies have been conducted in this country. A cohort study design would be the most appropriate procedure to rigorously assess and report valid results on breastfeeding practices and patterns in the Saudi society.
PMCID: PMC3896745  PMID: 24422991
Breastfeeding; Breastfeeding duration; Epidemiology; Infant feeding; Saudi

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