[Breast feeding at maternity hospitals in France in 1995. National perinatal survey].Arch Pediatr 1998; 5(12):1316-26AP
The objectives of the study were to estimate the current level of breast-feeding at hospital discharge in France, and to identify maternal factors and characteristics of the pregnancy and delivery associated with breast-feeding.
DATA AND METHODS
The sample included all births during 1 week in France in 1995 (n = 12,179 babies). The data were collected during the postnatal stay in hospital. Factors associated with breast-feeding were identified, using bivariate analysis and multiple logistic regression. As the relations between the studied factors and breast-feeding differed between French women and women of foreign nationality, multivariate analysis was carried out separately in the two groups.
In 1995, 52% of babies were breastfed at hospital discharge, including 10% of babies partially breastfed. Breastfeeding was more common among women of foreign nationality than among French women, 76 vs 49%. In both groups, breastfeeding was more common among older women, women with a high level of education or a qualified occupation; breastfeeding was also more frequent among non smokers during pregnancy and among women who attended antenatal classes. On the contrary, among French women, induction of labour and delivery in a small hospital were associated with a low level of breastfeeding; among women of foreign nationality, a low level of breastfeeding was observed for unmarried women, women who had an induction or a caesarean section, and those who delivered in a private hospital.
France was at the lowest level among Western countries for which national data on breastfeeding were available. Efforts to promote breastfeeding are needed, both towards sub-groups of pregnant women and towards health professionals. Maternity hospitals should provide support to breastfeeding mothers, and avoid practices which may affect breastfeeding.