Breastfeeding is an important issue in postpartum period and critical to the infant’s health, but childbirth interventions such as childbirth analgesia may affect the onset and duration of the process. This study aimed to determine the status of breastfeeding in women receiving epidural analgesia.
This cohort study was conducted on 393 mothers in the postpartum period that had vaginal delivery with or without using epidural analgesia (with their own choice) between December 2017 and September 2018. After selecting the convenient samples, the researcher‑made outcome breastfeeding checklists were completed in selected hospitals in Isfahan, Iran, Within 24 hours and 4 weeks after delivery. Data were analyzed using statistical methods (Independent t test, Mann‑Whitney, ANCOVA, and Chi‑square). The significance level of the tests was less than 0.05.
According to the results, most of the subjects in the two groups began breastfeeding during the first hour after childbirth. There was no significant difference between the two groups in the beginning of breastfeeding while controlling the number of labors. There was no significant difference between the two groups in comparison to the type of milk given to the infant Within 24 hours after birth and 4 weeks after birth, either. There was no significant difference between the two groups in comparison to breastfeeding problems at either time.
According to the results, saying that there is no negative effect by epidural analgesia on the breastfeeding process, using this analgesia is recommended to promote natural childbirth.