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Ann Intern Med. 2008 Oct 21;149(8):565-82.

Interventions in primary care to promote breastfeeding: an evidence review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Author information

1
Tufts-New England Medical Center Evidence-based Practice Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. mchung1@tuftsmedicalcenter.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Evidence suggests that breastfeeding decreases the risk for many diseases in mothers and infants. It is therefore important to evaluate the effectiveness of breastfeeding interventions.

PURPOSE:

To systematically review evidence for the effectiveness of primary care-initiated interventions to promote breastfeeding with respect to breastfeeding and child and maternal health outcomes.

DATA SOURCES:

Electronic searches of MEDLINE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and CINAHL from September 2001 to February 2008 and references of selected articles, restricted to English-language publications.

STUDY SELECTION:

Randomized, controlled trials of primary care-initiated interventions to promote breastfeeding, mainly in developed countries.

DATA EXTRACTION:

Characteristics of interventions and comparators, study setting, study design, population characteristics, the proportion of infants continuing breastfeeding by different durations, and infant or maternal health outcomes were recorded.

DATA SYNTHESIS:

Thirty-eight randomized, controlled trials (36 in developed countries) met eligibility criteria. In random-effects meta-analyses, breastfeeding promotion interventions in developed countries resulted in significantly increased rates of short- (1 to 3 months) and long-term (6 to 8 months) exclusive breastfeeding (rate ratios, 1.28 [95% CI, 1.11 to 1.48] and 1.44 [CI, 1.13 to 1.84], respectively). In subgroup analyses, combining pre- and postnatal breastfeeding interventions had a larger effect on increasing breastfeeding durations than either pre- or postnatal interventions alone. Furthermore, breastfeeding interventions with a component of lay support (such as peer support or peer counseling) were more effective than usual care in increasing the short-term breastfeeding rate.

LIMITATIONS:

Meta-analyses were limited by clinical and methodological heterogeneity. Reliable estimates for the isolated effects of each component of multicomponent interventions could not be obtained.

CONCLUSION:

Evidence suggests that breastfeeding interventions are more effective than usual care in increasing short- and long-term breastfeeding rates. Combined pre- and postnatal interventions and inclusion of lay support in a multicomponent intervention may be beneficial.

PMID:
18936504
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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