Exclusive breastfeeding rates and associated factors in Swiss baby-friendly hospitals.

Research paper by Sonja S Merten, Ursula U Ackermann-Liebrich

Indexed on: 21 Feb '04Published on: 21 Feb '04Published in: Journal of human lactation : official journal of International Lactation Consultant Association


Monitoring of infant feeding and related health care practices was introduced in all 28 Swiss Baby-Friendly Hospitals to assess exclusive breastfeeding rates and potentially associated factors. Data on 5790 neonates were collected in 1999, and rates of exclusive breastfeeding in different health facilities were calculated. Odds ratios were calculated to estimate the effects of different determinants on exclusive breastfeeding rates. Of all infants, 97% were initially breastfed, but only 38% were exclusively breast milk fed in Baby-Friendly maternity wards, and proportions varied from 8% to 85% among hospitals. The strongest determinants for exclusive breastfeeding were health facility factors. Furthermore, exclusive breastfeeding rates significantly increased with every month of monitoring duration. The findings suggest that the introduction of continuous monitoring of infant nutrition and related health care practices might have a positive effect on breastfeeding management in health facilities.