FIRST POSTPARTUM HOME VISIT: A PROTECTIVE STRATEGY FOR EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING

<p></p><p>ABSTRACT Objective: To investigate the influence of the first postpartum visit, family income, pacifier habit, number of siblings and birth weight on the maintenance of exclusive breastfeeding in infants aged one week up to six months. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, data were collected through a survey, which included social and demographic characteristics of the families and the breastfeeding practice in children aged one week to six months, who received care at family health units in the municipality of Vitória de Santo Antão, Pernambuco, Northeast Brazil, between December 2014 and February 2015. Prevalence ratio was used to indicate how many times the outcome prevalence was increased by the influence of the studied variables, as well as a binary logistic regression model for the analysis and reliability of the results. Results: The prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding was 41.7%. Family income, pacifier habit, number of siblings and birth weight did not show statistical association with the maintenance of exclusive breastfeeding. However, the absence of postpartum home visits adversely influenced the outcome (p=0.009). The children who received home visits had a higher chance of being exclusively breastfed for six months or more (PR 2.28, 95%CI 1.17-4.42). In the logistic regression, only the visit showed significance to estimate the probability of exclusive breastfeeding. Conclusions: The absence of postpartum home visits negatively influenced the duration of exclusive breastfeeding. This finding fills a gap in the knowledge of determinants of exclusive breastfeeding and may guide the planning of local strategies and actions to promote, protect and support exclusive breastfeeding.</p><p></p>

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