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Revista Colombiana de Obstetricia y Ginecología

Print version ISSN 0034-7434


PRIETO-GOMEZ, Ruth  and  BAEZA-WEINMANN, Bernardita. Breastfeeding: Prevalence of nipple cracking and pain in breastfeeding mothers in the Araucanía region, Temuco, Chile: 2010-2011. Rev Colomb Obstet Ginecol [online]. 2013, vol.64, n.3, pp.229-233. ISSN 0034-7434.

Objetive: In Chile, support to breastfeeding has had a significant impact on the health of the child, the mother, the family and the community. This support is evidenced in the implementation of public policies, education programs and legislation designed to promote breastfeeding exclusively until the sixth month of age. Despite the above, the prevalence of breastfeeding until the sixth month is not even 50% in Chile, and one of the hurdles associated with this problem is the early onset of nipple fissures and cracks. The number of women with fissures and cracks being unknown, the objective of this research was to determine the prevalence of nipple cracking in mothers in early puerperium as well as to determine the practices of healthcare workers in relation to breastfeeding. Materials and methods: Cross-sectional, convenience sampling. Overall, 343 women were interviewed during their post-partum stay in the maternity ward in at the hospital Hernán Henríquez Aravena in Temuco, Chile, this referral center for the Araucanía region in Southern Chile. All of them had delivered healthy term babies less than four days old. The study period was between July 2010 and September 2011. A tool containing biodemographic and clinical variables was used, administered by midwives. A descriptive analysis is performed. Results: The prevalence of fissures was 24.5%, cracks 21.6%, pain when breastfeeding 38.5%. Up to 14% of the women did not receive information about breastfeeding during their prenatal visits. Conclusions: The prevalence of fissures and cracks requires early diagnosis and treatment in order to reduce the risk of early weaning.

Keywords : Breastfeeding exclusively; nipple cracking; perinatal care; sucking pattern; newborn.

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