This study examined the costs associated with breastfeeding term and pre-term infants in both home and hospital contexts. It also sought to examine the efficacy, safety, level of maternal satisfaction, and resources involved in managing breastfeeding. It showed no differences in indirect family costs, hospital delivery costs, or total system costs. In terms of outcomes, the group with home care had significantly higher rates of babies being exclusively breastfed. The qualitative data regarding maternal satisfaction appear to support early discharge from hospital accompanied by home visiting by the community nurses. The authors of the report suggest policy-makers consider home support for breastfeeding a viable option in terms of costs and clinical outcomes for mothers of term infants and suggest that mothers be offered a choice of either standard care or early discharge with home visits by a lactation consultant or nurse with breastfeeding expertise.
This project was supported by the Health Transition Fund, which was created in 1997 to provide support for evidence-based decision-making in health care reform by supporting pilot and evaluation projects which test innovative approaches to health care delivery. The views expressed herein do no necessarily represent the official policy of federal, provincial, or territorial governments.