INTRODUCTION: Many factors affect breastfeeding such as maternal method of delivery. The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between delivery method and breastfeeding characteristics.
METHODS: This study was conducted between January and May 2019. A total of 210 mothers were analyzed who were registered in the Child Health and Diseases Outpatient Clinic and were still breastfeeding at the time of enrollment. A 28-item questionnaire survey was administered to the participants regarding their familys socio-demographic characteristics, delivery method, and breastfeeding characteristics.
RESULTS: Of the participants, 79 (37.6%) and 131 (62.4%) gave birth by vaginal delivery (VD) and by cesarean delivery (CD), respectively. A total of 55 (69.6%) mothers had VD breastfed their baby within the first ½ h of birth. The difference between the time of initial breastfeeding and the delivery method was statistically significant (p<0.001). A significantly higher proportion of babies born by VD (94.9%) received breast milk as their first food than babies born by CD (p<0.001). Moreover, significantly higher proportion of mothers who had VD exclusively breastfed their baby at 6 months than mothers who had CD (p<0.001).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: This study found that the delivery method has a significant effect on breastfeeding characteristics, such as the time of initial breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding.