The prevalence of breastfeeding in prematures with very low birth weight – a systematic review


Very low birth weight
Breast Feeding

PlumX Metrics


Due to the difficulty in establishing breast feeding among mothers of premature babies, several studies have been carried out to find out the frequency of this practice. National and international indexes are little known, particularly those related to extremely underweight premature babies. The objective of this study was to do a systematic bibliographic review on the prevalence/ duration of breast feeding among mothers of very low birth weight infants. Six data bases were consulted to search for articles on the subject published from 1997 onwards.  From the 78 articles related to the topic, 9 dealt with the prevalence and/or duration of breast feeding among mothers of premature babies born weighing less than 1500 grams. Data were summarized in a table containing detailed information on each research. Some issues came up as essential to the subject of breast feeding among mothers of premature babies such as the concept of breast feeding adopted, the sample, the place and year of the study, the design of the study and the time of data collection. As breast feeding is closely related to cultural and social values from each region and country and the mother’s decision, it is difficult to compare prevalence from different contexts/worlds. However, some interventions in the studied population were efficient, showing that  breast feeding is necessary, difficult and highly demanding yet possible through simple and intentionally systematized actions.