Intimate partner violence is linked to suboptimal breastfeeding practices in poorer countries | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 06, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 06, 2019

Intimate partner violence is linked to suboptimal breastfeeding practices in poorer countries

Mothers exposed to intimate partner violence in low- and middle-income countries are less likely to initiate breastfeeding early and breastfeed exclusively in the first six months, according to a study published in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine.

As noted by the authors, health professionals working with pregnant women in low- and middle-income countries may need to identify those who have experienced intimate partner violence and offer tailored support for breastfeeding practices.

Physical, sexual and emotional violence were each independently associated with decreased likelihood of early breastfeeding initiation, but only exposure to physical violence was independently associated with a decreased likelihood of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months.

According to the authors, these findings may inform the argument for antenatal screening of intimate partner violence in low- and middle-income countries and the provision of services to not only improve mothers’ safety and wellbeing, but also support them in adopting recommended breastfeeding practices.

 

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