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Early Hum Dev. 2001 Jan;60(3):193-205.

Early cessation of breast milk feeding in very low birthweight infants.

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Department of Neonatology, Charité Virchow Hospital, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.


This investigation was carried out to comparatively assess the duration of breast milk feeding and to analyze risk factors for early cessation of breast milk feeding in term and very preterm infants. A cohort study was performed in 89 consecutive very low birthweight (VLBW) infants (<1500 g) who survived for at least for one week, and 177 term infants with birthweights >2500 g born in the same hospital matched for gender and multiplicity. Median duration of breast milk feeding, as determined from charts and questionnaires mailed to the mothers at 6 and 12 months corrected age, was 36 days in VLBW infants, compared to 112 days in control infants (P<0.0001). In both VLBW and control infants, smoking during pregnancy, low maternal and low paternal school education were each significantly associated with short duration of breast milk feeding. In VLBW infants, multiple pregnancy and gestational age <29 weeks were each associated with prolonged breast milk feeding, as were maternal age >35 years and spontaneous pregnancy (as opposed to pregnancy following infertility treatment) in term infants. Multivariate analysis revealed that VLBW, smoking and low parental school education were independent negative predictors of breast milk feeding. While these results emphasize the need for special support of VLBW infant mothers promoting lactation, the relationships between smoking, school education and breast milk feeding in both strata show that efforts to increase breast milk feeding require a public health perspective.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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