The influence of type of delivery, skin-to-skin contact and maternal nationality on breastfeeding rates at hospital discharge in a baby-friendly hospital in Italy
Accepted: 2 April 2019
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The aim of this epidemiological study is to evaluate how type of delivery, skin-to-skin contact and maternal nationality influence breastfeeding practices of newborns at discharge in a large population of babies born in the Baby-Friendly Hospital of San Bonifacio, Verona, Italy. Data were collected for all healthy newborns consecutively born over a period of three years, regarding type of delivery, feeding at hospital discharge, skin-to-skin procedure, and for a smaller group maternal nationality was recorded as well. The rate of exclusive breastfeeding in a group of 6017 newborns was 82.1%, higher among babies born by vaginal delivery than in those born by cesarean section (84.9% vs 65%; P<0.001). It was higher in those who had skin-to-skin contact than in those who did not, in both vaginal delivery (85.3% vs 69.2%; P<0.001) and cesarean section (67.7% vs 55.1%; P=0.009). Also, it was found to be higher in babies born to immigrant mothers than in those born to Italian mothers (89.9% vs 79.5%). Vaginal delivery, skin-to-skin contact and maternal foreign nationality have a positive association with breastfeeding at hospital discharge.
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