The Efficacy of Breastfeeding in Chinese Women with Different Intrapartum Experiences: a Hong Kong Study Abstract

Carrie YC LEE, Wan Yim IP

To explore the objective and subjective breastfeeding efficacy and their relationship with breastfeeding outcomes at 8 weeks’ postpartum.

A prospective, descriptive, and longitudinal design using survey approach was carried out in an obstetric unit of a regional hospital in Hong Kong. Convenience sampling was used, with 127 women completed the 2-month telephone follow-up. Inclusion criteria include healthy breastfeeding mothers being able to read and understand Chinese, with uncomplicated pregnancies and labours, had a singleton birth, and delivery of normal, healthy full-term infants.

The mean LATCH (latch, audible swallowing, type of nipple, comfort, and hold) score and Breastfeeding Self-efficacy Scale (BSES) score were 8.3 and 113.1 respectively. Rates of exclusive breastfeeding at discharge and 8 weeks’ postpartum were 65% and 36% respectively. Higher maternal age (p=0.04), caesarean delivery (p=0.02), and longer length of hospital stay (p<0.001) were associated with higher objective breastfeeding efficacy (LATCH scores). While lower level of education (p<0.01), homemaker (p<0.01), multiparity (p<0.001), use of Entonox inhalation or without using pain-relieving methods during delivery (p=0.04), and lower risk of discontinuing breastfeeding at 8 weeks’ postpartum were associated with higher subjective breastfeeding efficacy (BSES scores). No correlation between objective and subjective breastfeeding efficacy was found.

Education designed to foster maternal confidence in breastfeeding should be targeted to first-time mothers, and the technique of breastfeeding in women with vaginal delivery should be emphasised.

Hong Kong J Gynaecol Obstet Midwifery 2008; 8:13-7

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