AbstractAim: To analyze the experiences and meanings of early contact and breastfeeding of women, housed in a Baby Friendly Hospital, and the factors involved in these practices. Method: This was a descriptive, exploratory study in which we used a qualitative approach, conducted between November 2011 and January 2012, with 16 subjects. The data was submitted to content analysis and thematic modality. Results: The approximation, between mother and child shortly after birth, provided a unique experience for women; with feelings and meanings favorable to mother-child bonding and the initiation of breastfeeding. The main obstacles, to the realization of the early contact and breastfeeding, were: the priority given to routine care after birth and the caesarean delivery. Conclusion: In order to consolidate the fourth step, of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, it was necessary to go beyond a purely technical approach; the approach ought to take into account the socio-cultural characteristics of patients; professionals; institutions; and society
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