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P R Health Sci J. 2009 Dec;28(4):340-4.

Exploratory study: barriers for initiation and/or discontinuation of breastfeeding in mothers of children with Down syndrome.

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Maternal & Child Health Program, School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico.



The aim of the study is to identify the barriers associated with breastfeeding in mothers of Puerto Rican children with Down.


A non-probabilistic sample (n = 26) of mothers was used in the study. The sample was obtained in an institution in Puerto Rico specializing in care of infants with Down Syndrome [IDS]. A self-administered questionnaire was used consisting of six sections. Descriptive statistics were used for data analysis.


The majority of interviewed mothers (80.8%) had 70.0% or higher correct answers regarding the benefits of breastfeeding. 84.6% of the mothers who decided not to breastfeed or who discontinued breastfeeding reported as the main reason that the baby presented sucking problems and 50.0% of the participants were not allowed to have their baby with them during their stay in the hospital. 84.3% of the participants indicated having breastfed their IDS and 61.5% stated that they would not breastfeed in public places.


Active support, instruction, and collaboration among members of the health care team are essential for breastfeeding success.

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