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Changes in the prevalence of breast feeding in preterm infants discharged from neonatal units: a register study over 10 years
Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; Centre for Clinical Research Dalarna, Falun, Sweden; Department of Pediatrics, Falu Hospital, Falun, Sweden.
School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Dalarna University, Falun, Sweden.
Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
Örebro University, School of Health Sciences. (PEARL - Pain in Early Life)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5996-2584
2016 (English)In: BMJ Open, ISSN 2044-6055, E-ISSN 2044-6055, Vol. 6, no 12, e012900Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: There are indications that the prevalence of exclusively breastfed preterm infants is decreasing in Sweden. The objective was to investigate trends in exclusive breast feeding at discharge from Swedish neonatal units and associated factors in preterm infants.

Design, setting and participants: This is a register study with data from the Swedish Neonatal Quality Register. Data from 29 445 preterm infants (gestational age (GA) <37 weeks) who were born during the period 2004–2013 were retrieved. Data included maternal, perinatal and neonatal characteristics. Data were analysed for the whole population as well as for 3 GA groups.

Results: From 2004 to 2013, the prevalence of exclusive breast feeding decreased, in extremely preterm (GA 22–27 weeks) from 55% to 16%, in very preterm (GA 28–31 weeks) from 41% to 34% and in moderately preterm infants (GA 32–36 weeks) from 64% to 49%. The decline was statistically significant (p<0.001) in all 3 GA groups. This decline remained significant when adjustments were made for factors negatively associated with exclusive breast feeding andwhich became more prevalent during the study period, that is, small for GA (all groups) and maternal mental illness (very preterm and moderately preterm infants).

Conclusions: In the past 10 years, Sweden has experienced a lower rate of exclusive breast feeding in preterm infants, especially in extremely preterm infants. The factors analysed in this study explain only a small proportion of this decline. The decline in exclusive breast feeding at discharge from neonatal units raises concern and present challenges to the units to support and promote breast feeding.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London, United Kingdom: BMJ Publishing Group Ltd, 2016. Vol. 6, no 12, e012900
Keyword [en]
Breastfeeding, preterm infants, prevalence, register study
National Category
Research subject
Pediatrics; Caring sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-53958DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-012900PubMedID: 27965252OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-53958DiVA: diva2:1056081
The effectiveness of proactive telephone support provided to breastfeeding mothers of preterm infants
Available from: 2016-12-14 Created: 2016-12-14 Last updated: 2016-12-20Bibliographically approved

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