A survey based on information available on neonatal screening cards was performed in Emilia-Romagna (Italy) to measure the prevalence of breasteeding initiation in the maternity wards. Altogether 194.427 Guthrie cards of babies born from 1990 to 1996 were studied. Breastfeeding prevalence at birth has increased during this time: 84% babies were breastfed in 1990 and 88.4% in 1996. Differences were found among the region districts related to the prevalence of both breastfeeding (range = 74.9%-93.2% in 1990 and 84.9%-93% in 1996) and giving formula supplements to breastfed infants during the first days of live (range = 17.2%-45.7% in 1990 and 11.2%-51.9% in 1996). The weight and gestational age at birth and the dimension of the maternity wards influenced the feeding preactices, too. Only 54.1% newborns weighting less than 2000 g. and 59% newborns weighting 2000-2500 g. were fed on maternal milk in 1990 and 52.7% and 65.2%, respectively in 1996. The prevalence of breastfeeding initiation in Emilia-Romagna is high, showing the intention and attitude of mothers towards breastfeeding. Appropriate initiatives are desiderable to improve exclusive breastfeeding in the areas where the prevalence is low. The data on Guthrie cards provide accurate and easily accessible information to audit the outcome of such initiatives and the temporal trend of breastfeeding initiation.
|Translated title of the contribution||Feeding practices in Emilia-Romagna maternity wards|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Rivista Italiana di Pediatria|
|Issue number||3 SUPPL.|
|Publication status||Published - 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health