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Matern Child Nutr. 2018 Jan;14(1). doi: 10.1111/mcn.12474. Epub 2017 Jun 16.

Delivery mode and breastfeeding outcomes among new mothers in Nicaragua.

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Yale College, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.


Breastfeeding has been shown to benefit infants and mothers. Women who have caesarean deliveries (C-sections) are expected to be less likely to initiate and continue breastfeeding than those who have vaginal deliveries. Given the high rate of C-sections in Nicaragua, the importance of breastfeeding, and the centrality of culture in choices about breastfeeding, this study sought to examine if mode of delivery relates with breastfeeding initiation and exclusivity in Nicaragua. Two hundred fifty mothers were surveyed about birth experiences and breastfeeding behaviour in 3 public clinics in León, Nicaragua, between June and August 2015. Logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the association of mode of delivery with initiation of breastfeeding within 1 hr of birth (early initiation) and exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months post-partum. The rate of early initiation was 68.8% and that of exclusively breastfeeding for 6 months was 12.7%. Mode of delivery was not significantly associated with early initiation (p = .383) or exclusive breastfeeding (p = .518). Early initiation was negatively associated with prelacteal feeding, AOR = 0.30, 95% CI [0.16, 0.58]; p = .001. Mothers who had perceived their infants as large at birth were significantly less likely to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months, AOR (95%CI) = 0.25 (0.06-0.97); p = 0.046. Mode of delivery was not significantly associated with optimal breastfeeding initiation and exclusivity among mothers in Nicaragua. The 2 risk factors identified for delayed initiation of breastfeeding and lack of exclusive breastfeeding were prelacteal feeding and maternal perception of a large infant at birth, respectively.


Latin America; breastfeeding; breastfeeding outcomes; caesarean delivery; mode of delivery; prelacteal feeds

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