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Introduction: Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) decreases morbidity and mortality in infants. The prevalence of EBF in Ecuador is 58.4%. There is no information available on how the restrictions applied by the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted EBF habits, so this study aims to determine the prevalence of EBF during the confinement period and its associated factors.
Methods: The present longitudinal study was carried out at the "Santa Bárbara" clinic in Quito-Ecuador, from April to June 2020, with a non-probabilistic sample of mothers of infants with healthy children. Age, marital status, education, work activity, prenatal check-ups, type of delivery, perinatal practices, healthy child check-ups, prenatal-postnatal counseling, and EBF are described. The association is presented as an odds ratio.
Results: 114 participants with an EBF of 54.4% (62 mothers). Prenatal counseling was a protective factor OR 0.458 (95% CI 0.216 -0.97) P = 0.045 for the presence of EBF. The use of breast milk substitutes at discharge was a risk factor for the loss of EBF, OR 2.46 (95% CI 1.12-5.42) P=0.025. The infant's medical problems were a risk factor for the loss of EBF, OR 5.92 (95% CI 2.62-13.37) P<0.0001.
Conclusions: There is more significant abandonment of EBF, despite the longer contact time between mother and child. Abandonment occurs within the first month of life in 65.3% of cases and is associated with breast milk substitutes at the time of discharge of the newborn. There is an association between infant medical problems and EBF abandonment.
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