Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 734–738 | Cite as

Exploratory Study: Knowledge about the Benefits of Breastfeeding and Barriers for Initiation in Mothers of Children with Spina Bifida

  • Ana Font Rivera
  • René R. Dávila TorresEmail author
  • Ana M. Parrilla Rodríguez
  • Idalina  Montes de Longo
  • José J. Gorrín Peralta


The aim of the study is to identify the level of knowledge on breastfeeding by mothers of infants with spina bifida and the barriers encountered in initiating breastfeeding. A non-probabilisitic sample (= 30) of mothers was used in this study. The sample was obtained in two institutions specializing in care for infants with congenital anomalies in Puerto Rico. A self-administered questionnaire was used consisting of six sections. Descriptive statistics were used for data analysis. Among participants, 56.7% had adequate knowledge on the benefits of breastfeeding. The most frequently encountered barriers in initiating breastfeeding were related to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Problems with the medical and nursing procedures, routines, support from personnel, and adequacy of the environment were the most frequent. It is important to develop a education to encourage nurses and other health care professionals need suggest, support and encourage breastfeeding to mothers of infants with neural tube defects.


Spina bifida Knowledge Barriers Breastfeeding 



We would like to acknowledge Mr. Victor E. Reyes Ortiz for his support as technical writer for the present publication.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Font Rivera
    • 1
  • René R. Dávila Torres
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ana M. Parrilla Rodríguez
    • 1
  • Idalina  Montes de Longo
    • 2
  • José J. Gorrín Peralta
    • 3
  1. 1.Maternal and Child Health Program, Graduate School of Public HealthUniversity of Puerto RicoSan JuanPuerto Rico
  2. 2.Puerto Rico Department of HealthFolic Acid CampaignSan JuanPuerto Rico
  3. 3.Mother and Child Health Program, School of Public Health, Medical Sciences CampusUniversity of Puerto RicoSan JuanPuerto Rico

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