Interventions of Health Visitors in Making a Decision About Breastfeeding
Aim The aim of this study was to determine the correlation of early interventions by health visitors with the performance and length of breastfeeding and the evaluation of child’s development.
Methods The study was conducted in 2012, in the town of Đakovo and the surrounding area which includes 56 settlements. The survey consisted of two parts; first part was filled by mothers who breastfed their children after leaving the maternity hospital, and the other part was filled by health visitors.Results: From a total of 154 parturient women who filled a survey after they had left the hospital, the decision about breastfeeding before the pregnancy was made by 58.4% of examinees. Primiparas from the town were older than primiparas from the rural area where we got statistical significance (p <0.001). Most information about the proper placement of the child on the chest after birth, 56.3% of the examinees were given by nurses in the maternity hospital. The study showed that the support of husband, during lactation, had 57.9% of the examinees. Health visitor’s first visit was within 7 days after delivery, at three-quarters of examinees, which shows good awareness and collaboration between secondary and primary health care. The results showed that there is a good positive correlation between breastfeeding evaluation and evaluation of child development (p <0.001).Conclusion Evaluation of breastfeeding and evaluation of child’s development conducted by health visitors was better in women who made their decision about breastfeeding before pregnancy, which indicates that we should work on the early education of pregnant women about breastfeeding through the work of health visitors in the field and maternity courses. Keywords: breastfeeding, health visitor, breastfeeding evaluation, child’s development.