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Impact of breast-feeding promotion on infant feeding in the Czech Republic

Publication at Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen, First Faculty of Medicine, Third Faculty of Medicine |


To assess infant feeding practices, identify factors that influence the duration of exclusive breast-feeding, and evaluate the impact of the National Breastfeeding Promotion Programme in the Czech Republic. Hypothesis: We predicted the positive effect of the program in terms of increased prevalence of breast-feeding at discharge from the hospital and 6 months later.

Design: Multicenter cross-sectional survey. Mothers were randomly selected and interviewed in maternity hospitals in 1998 and were reinterviewed 6 months later.

Settings: Nine maternity hospitals in 6 cities across the country and households. Participants: 1104 mothers who gave birth within the 38th to the 42nd week of pregnancy to a healthy child with a minimum birthweight 2500 g; 1019 mothers were reinterviewed 6 months later.

Intervention: The National Breastfeeding Promotion Programme implemented since 1991. Variables Measured: Breast-feeding rates at discharge from the hospital and 6 months later, participation in prenatal classes, strategies related to breast-feeding promotion in the hospital, and support following discharge.

Analysis: Epi Info 6, SPSS (analysis of variance, F test), chi(2) Results: On leaving the hospital, 93.5% of newborns were exclusively breast-fed. Six months later, 23.1% of infants were breast-fed exclusively and 29.9% of infants were breastfed while receiving complementary food.

Participation in prenatal classes, first suckling within 2 hours of birth, breast-feeding on demand in the hospital, exclusive breast-feeding on leaving the hospital, and the duration of breast-feeding recommended by a pediatrician were positively related to the duration of exclusive breast-feeding (P < .001). Conclusions and Implications: Compared with national data from the last 2 decades, the data from this study proved the increasing rates of breast-feeding at discharge from the hospital and 6 months later.