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BMJ Open. 2016 Aug 8;6(8):e010551. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010551.

Association between home birth and breast feeding outcomes: a cross-sectional study in 28 125 mother-infant pairs from Ireland and the UK.

Author information

1
Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.
2
Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.
3
Department of Paediatrics, "Sestre Milosrdnice" University Hospital Centre, Zagreb, Croatia.
4
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.
5
Centre for Population Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To examine the association between breast feeding outcomes and place of birth (home vs hospital birth).

DESIGN:

Population-based cross-sectional study.

SETTING:

Ireland and UK.

PARTICIPANTS:

10 604 mother-infant pairs from the Growing Up in Ireland study (GUI, 2008-2009) and 17 521 pairs from the UK Millennium Cohort Study (UKMCS, 2001-2002) at low risk of delivery complications were included in the study.

PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES:

Breast feeding initiation, exclusivity and duration.

RESULTS:

Home birth was found to be significantly associated with breast feeding at all examined time points, including at birth, 8 weeks, 6 months and breast feeding exclusively at 6 months. In GUI, adjusted OR was 1.90 (95% CI 1.19 to 3.02), 1.78 (1.18 to 2.69), 1.85 (1.23 to 2.77) and 2.77 (1.78 to 4.33), respectively, and in UKMCS it was 2.49 (1.84 to 3.44), 2.49 (1.92 to 3.26), 2.90 (2.25 to 3.73) and 2.24 (1.14 to 4.03).

CONCLUSIONS:

Home birth was strongly associated with improved breast feeding outcomes in low-risk deliveries. While the association between home birth and breast feeding is unlikely to be directly causal, further research is needed to determine which factor(s) drive the observed differences, to facilitate development of perinatal care that supports breast feeding.

KEYWORDS:

UK; breast feeding; delivery; developed countries; home birth

PMID:
27503858
PMCID:
PMC4985866
DOI:
10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010551
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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