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Rev Saude Publica. 2005 Apr;39(2):141-7. Epub 2005 May 9.

[Influence of grandmothers on breastfeeding practices].

[Article in Portuguese]

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Departamento de Pediatria e Puericultura, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil.



To assess the influence of grandmothers on breastfeeding practices.


This was a prospective study on 601 mothers of normal babies born in a university hospital in the city of Porto Alegre, State of Rio Grande do Sul. Data were collected in the maternity ward and at home, one, two, four and six months after delivery, by means of interviews with the mothers. Information about grandmothers was obtained at the time of the first home visit. Multiple logistic regression was used to test associations between variables related to the grandmothers and the prevalence of breastfeeding.


Abandonment of exclusive breastfeeding within the first month was significantly associated with maternal or paternal grandmothers who advised that water or tea (OR=2.2 and 1.8, respectively) and other kinds of milk (OR=4.5 and 1.9, respectively) should be given. Abandonment of breastfeeding within the first six months was associated with maternal and paternal grandmothers who advised that other kinds of milk (OR=2.4 and 2.1, respectively) should be given. Non-daily contact with the maternal grandmother was a protective factor for maintaining breastfeeding until six months.


Grandmothers may have a negative influence on breastfeeding, both on its duration and its exclusivity. This information could be useful in the planning of strategies for promoting breastfeeding.

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