The breast-feeding patterns of 146 women who initiated breast-feeding during their hospital stay were evaluated to determine whether those women who received a hospital discharge package containing a manual breast pump breast-fed their infants for a longer period of time than did women who received a discharge package containing an infant formula. Women were randomly assigned to receive either a specially prepared pack containing a manual breast pump but no infant formula or a commercially available infant formula package. The women were interviewed in the hospital and by computer-assisted telephone interviews at 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks postdischarge. Information obtained included infant-feeding practices, sociodemographic characteristics, and attitudinal data. Follow-up interviews were completed for nearly 85% of eligible women at each time period. Women who received a discharge pack containing a breast pump but no infant formula continued exclusive breast-feeding for a greater number of weeks (mean = 4.18 weeks) than did women receiving infant formula in their discharge package (mean = 2.78 weeks) (P < .05). Also, women who indicated that ease of nighttime feeding was an important consideration were more likely to breast-feed over the entire 8-week period if they received the breast pump rather than infant formula (P < .05). The conclusion is that an easily implemented, low-cost intervention, the inclusion of a breast pump in discharge packages, may increase the duration of breast-feeding.

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