Breastfeeding duration and current neonatal feeding practices in Emilia Romagna, Italy

Giacomo Faldella, A. Di Comite, E. Marchiani, M. Govoni, G. P. Salvioli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A cohort of 1567 infants was studied at birth and at 3 mo of age to elucidate factors possibly affecting feeding policies in the maternity ward and the relationship with subsequent feeding patterns. During their stay in the maternity wards 89.6% of infants were breastfed, with 28.1% receiving formula in addition to mother's milk. Independent predictors of receiving a formula supplement in the maternity wards as a result of multivariate analyses were the separation of the newborn from the mother, a birthweight lower than 3000 g and a gestational age lower than 38 wk. At 3 mo of age, 66.1% infants were still at least partially breastfed and 48.9% were exclusively breastfed. An increased risk of not being breastfed at 3 mo of age was related to supplementary feeding at birth and birthweight. A weak relationship was found between the prevalence of breastfeeding at 3 mo of age and the magnitude of routine formula supplement use in the maternity ward. Given the present trends for early discharge from maternity wards and the National Health System facility for free paediatric assistance after discharge, in Italy paediatricians should be the main actors to support the continuation of breastfeeding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-26
Number of pages4
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics, Supplement
Issue number430
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Breastfeeding
  • Formula supplementation
  • Maternity routines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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