National targets for breastfeeding at hospital discharge have been achieved in Perth
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Aim: To report updated rates of breastfeeding in Perth through 2002/3 and to compare them to those from 1992/3. Methods: Design: A 12-mo longitudinal study. Setting: Two public maternity hospitals in Perth, Australia. Subjects: Eligible mothers of healthy newborn infants delivered between mid-September 2002 and mid-July 2003. Interventions: All eligible mothers were asked to participate in a 12-mo longitudinal study of infant feeding. While in hospital, participating mothers completed a questionnaire that included questions on how they were feeding their newborn. Main outcome measures: Prevalence of ever breastfeeding, and breastfeeding at discharge. Results: A total of 587 mothers, or 55% of those eligible, participated in the study. At hospital discharge, 93.8% of mothers in 2002/3 were breastfeeding compared with 83.8% in 1992/3. Significant increases were observed across all socio-demographic groups, with the biggest increase seen amongst younger mothers and those born outside of Australia.Conclusion: The national target of having in excess of 90% of mothers breastfeeding at discharge from hospital has been achieved in Perth. The challenge for health professionals and the community is to help maintain and further improve these breastfeeding practices.
Acta Paediatrica is available online via Blackwell Synergy
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