OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effect of Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) accreditation and hospital care practices on breastfeeding rates at 1 and 4 months.
METHODS: All women who birthed in Queensland, Australia, from February 1 to May 31, 2010, received a survey 4 months postpartum. Maternal, infant, and hospital characteristics; pregnancy and birth complications; and infant feeding outcomes were measured.
RESULTS: Sample size was 6752 women. Breastfeeding initiation rates were high (96%) and similar in BFHI-accredited and nonaccredited hospitals. After adjustment for significant maternal, infant, clinical, and hospital variables, women who birthed in BFHI-accredited hospitals had significantly lower odds of breastfeeding at 1 month (adjusted odds ratio 0.72, 95% confidence interval 0.58–0.90) than those who birthed in non–BFHI-accredited hospitals. BFHI accreditation did not affect the odds of breastfeeding at 4 months or exclusive breastfeeding at 1 or 4 months. Four in-hospital practices (early skin-to-skin contact, attempted breastfeeding within the first hour, rooming-in, and no in-hospital supplementation) were experienced by 70% to 80% of mothers, with 50.3% experiencing all 4. Women who experienced all 4 hospital practices had higher odds of breastfeeding at 1 month (adjusted odds ratio 2.20, 95% confidence interval 1.78–2.71) and 4 months (adjusted odds ratio 2.93, 95% confidence interval 2.40–3.60) than women who experienced fewer than 4.
CONCLUSIONS: When breastfeeding-initiation rates are high and evidence-based practices that support breastfeeding are common within the hospital environment, BFHI accreditation per se has little effect on both exclusive or any breastfeeding rates.
- BFHI —
- Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative
- BFHI hospital —
- BFHI-accredited hospital
- non-BFHI hospital —
- non–BFHI-accredited hospital
- Accepted December 6, 2012.
- Copyright © 2013 by the American Academy of Pediatrics