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Currently, no clear consensus exists regarding the effect of epidural anesthesia upon breast-feeding. In theory, epidurals may increase breast-feeding failure via inadequate maternal milk production, deficiencies in neonatal neurobehavior, or both, but most studies have failed to separate these potential mechanisms. The present study examines whether epidural duration correlates with 1) likelihood of breast-feeding at hospital discharge and 2) neonatal neurobehavioral deficits in feeding, as measured by the L&A components of the standardized, validated LATCH scoring system.
The L component of the score measures neonatal ability to latch at the breast and the A component measures the presence of audible swallows, which are variables that reflect neonatal neurobehavioral capacity with respect to feeding.
Secondary Outcome Measures
Breast-Feeding at Hospital Discharge
This outcome variable is binary. If a woman is breast-feeding with bottle supplementation at the time of hospital discharge, then she is recorded as "Yes."
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Ages Eligible for Study:
18 Years and older (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:
Parturients who delivered at UHCMC between August 2009 and January 2010