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

Carrie YC LEE, Wan Yim IP

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

Methods:
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.

Results:
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.

Conclusion:
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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