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Gynecol Obstet Fertil. 2013 Jun;41(6):351-5. doi: 10.1016/j.gyobfe.2012.09.026. Epub 2013 Feb 21.

[Initiation of breastfeeding and early weaning: a prospective study of the health perinatal network Loire-Nord Ardèche].

[Article in French]

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Service universitaire de médecine générale, université Jean-Monnet, Saint-Étienne, France.



The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding of infants up to 6months. The proportion of breastfeeding initiation and duration increased more slowly in France than in neighboring European countries. The perinatal network data are incomplete. The objective of this study is to evaluate within the perinatal network "Loire-Nord Ardèche" (ELENA), breastfeeding rates in hospital discharge and at 2months, and identify needs for maternal support.


Prospective and declarative study by written questionnaire, with all the women volunteers who gave birth in October 2011 in a maternity of our perinatal network.


Population concerns 426 women volunteers of 968 new mothers. Two hundred and ninety-four questionnaires were used: 69% of women initiated breastfeeding, 63% have continued after the stay in the maternity and 50% at 2 months. Eighty percent chose to breastfeed before pregnancy, mainly for child health, 65% with the support of their spouse, 58% if their mother had breastfed. Simple pathologies of breastfeeding and childbirth were responsible for weaning. A third of women in difficulty have not consulted anyone, one third wanted more practical help and systematic support motherhood.


The rate of initiation of breastfeeding or duration and the great influence of the surroundings of the mother, similar in this study to literature data, call for enhanced prenatal information for parents and systematic "lactation" consultation in the early post-partum, by trained professionals and with the help of support associations for breastfeeding. This study showed a clear need to support breastfeeding. It has also allowed targeting actions that would be able to avoid the majority of early weaning.

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