Factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life in Brazil: a systematic review

<div><p>ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE To identify factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life in Brazil. METHODS Systematic review of epidemiological studies conducted in Brazil with exclusive breastfeeding as outcome. Medline and LILACS databases were used. After the selection of articles, a hierarchical theoretical model was proposed according to the proximity of the variable to the outcome. RESULTS Of the 67 articles identified, we selected 20 cross-sectional studies and seven cohort studies, conducted between 1998 and 2010, comprising 77,866 children. We identified 36 factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding, being more often associated the distal factors: place of residence, maternal age and education, and the proximal factors: maternal labor, age of the child, use of a pacifier, and financing of primary health care. CONCLUSIONS The theoretical model developed may contribute to future research, and factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding may subsidize public policies on health and nutrition.</p></div>