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Does monitoring newborn weight discourage breastfeeding?

McKie, A. and Young, D. and Macdonald, P.D. (2005) Does monitoring newborn weight discourage breastfeeding? Archives of Disease in Childhood, 91. pp. 44-46. ISSN 0003-9888

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Abstract

Background: A policy of regular neonatal weight monitoring was introduced to a geographically defined population in 2000. This was combined with targeted breast feeding support for infants reaching specified intervention thresholds. Aims: To look for evidence of compromise in breast feeding rates as a result of this policy change. Methods: Breast feeding rates at 10 days and 6 weeks were compared for this intervention population and two local non-intervention groups for the years 1999 and 2001. The data were analysed using Poisson regression analysis and the Z-test. Results: There was a 3.1% (95% CI 0.8% to 5.5%) rise in the deprivation corrected breast feeding rate at 6 weeks for the intervention population compared to an increase of 0.8% (95% CI -0.8% to 2.3%) for the combined control groups. Multivariate analysis showed that breast feeding rates were adversely influenced by deprivation, but were not significantly influenced by the intervention. Conclusion: No evidence was found to support claims that regular monitoring of newborn weight adversely affects breast feeding rates.