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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Anesthesiology, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care
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Minerva Anestesiologica 1999 September;65(9):625-30

language: Italian

Influence of regional anesthesia for cesarean section and epidural analgesia for vaginal delivery on breastfeeding rate after childbirth

Albani A. 1, Addamo P. 1, Renghi A. 1, Voltolin G. 2, Peano L. 3, Ivani G. 4

1 Ospedale Generale della Valle d’Aosta - Aosta, UO di Anestesia e Terapia Intensiva;
2 Unità Dipartimentale di Neuropsichiatria Infantile, Ospedale Regina Margherita - Torino, Dipartimento Materno-Infantile;
3 UO di Pediatria e Neonatologia, Ospedale Regina Margherita - Torino, Dipartimento Materno-Infantile;
4 UO di Anestesia e Rianimazione, Ospedale Regina Margherita - Torino, Dipartimento Materno-Infantile


Background. To evaluate the influence of regional techniques of anesthesia and analgesia on breastfeeding rate after cesarean section and vaginal delivery.
Methods. Study design: prospective, area-based. Setting: obstetrics and Pediatrics Department at Aosta Valley Regional Hospital. Subjects: all the mothers and their newborns during a three-year period (1993-1995). Maternal wish to breastfeed was the main inclusion criterion. Data recorded: feeding modality at discharge, anesthesia and analgesia modality, maternal/neonatal socio-demographic and clinical data.
Results. 2725 records were examined, among them 1920 vaginal deliveries and 355 cesarean sections were statistically analyzed. χ2 analysis showed a significant greater incidence of breastfeeding after cesarean section under regional anesthesia (spinal or epidural) versus general anesthesia: 95% vs 85.5%, p=0.002. Breastfeeding rate was not different after vaginal delivery with epidural analgesia versus delivery without analgesia: 96.5% vs 97.8%. Logistic regression confirmed the positive role of regional anesthesia and few other maternal and neonatal variables on breastfeeding rate after cesarean section.
Conclusions. Regional anesthesia seems to be advantageous for breastfeeding after cesarean section, probably because of a faster neonatal-maternal bonding if compared with general anesthesia. Epidural analgesia for vaginal delivery does not adversely affects breastfeeding if compared with delivery without analgesia.

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