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Advice given to women in Argentina about breast-feeding and the use of alcohol Consejos dados a las mujeres en Argentina acerca de la lactancia materna y el consumo de alcohol

By M. Yanina Pepino and Julie A. Mennella

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To explore the types of advice that women in Argentina received from health professionals, family members, and friends about drinking alcoholic beverages and about alcohol usage during pregnancy and lactation. METHODS: In December 2001 and December 2002, structured interviews were conducted with a total of 167 women who were then breast-feeding or who had recently breast-fed their infant. Mothers were asked about the type of advice, if any, that they had received about the use of alcohol from health professionals and from family members and friends. Also included were questions related to the usage of the traditional Argentine beverage "mate" (an infusion widely consumed in South America that is prepared from the leaves of the Ilex paraguayensis plant) and the types of advice the women had received about breast-feeding and neonatal care in general. RESULTS: Of the 167 women studied, 96.4% of them reported that their physician had advised them to breast-feed their infant. In addition, 93.4% of the women said they had treated their infant's umbilical cord stump with alcohol. Fewer than half of the women (46.7%) reported that their physician had advised them about drinking alcoholic beverages during pregnancy, and even fewer (25.7%) received such advice during lactation. Family and friends were about equally likely to give advice about the consumption of alcoholic beverages during pregnancy (42.6%) and during lactation (47.9%). However, the type of advice changed, with the family and friends being significantly more likely to encourage drinking when the women were lactating than when they were pregnant (P < 0.001). Family members and friends also encouraged the drinking of mate to increase milk production. CONCLUSIONS: As in other cultures, in Argentina the belief exists that alcohol enhances lactation. However, the majority of women whom we interviewed had not been counseled by their health professional about the consumption of alcoholic beverages during pregnancy and lactation. There is a need for professional development strategies that will address women's awareness of the risks of alcohol consumption and alcohol usage.<br>OBJETIVO: Explorar el tipo de consejos que los profesionales de la salud, parientes y amigos le dieron a una muestra de mujeres en Argentina acerca del consumo de bebidas alcohólicas y el uso de alcohol durante el embarazo y la lactancia. MÉTODOS: En diciembre de 2001 y diciembre de 2002 se llevaron a cabo entrevistas estructuradas con un total de 167 mujeres que estaban amamantando o que habían amamantado recientemente. A las madres se les preguntó qué tipo de consejos, en caso de haberlos, les dieron los profesionales de la salud y sus parientes y amistades acerca del consumo de alcohol. También se plantearon preguntas sobre la bebida tradicional argentina, el mate -infusión muy popular en América del Sur que se prepara con las hojas de la planta Ilex paraguayensis- y la clase de consejos que recibieron las mujeres acerca de la lactancia materna y los cuidados neonatales en general. RESULTADOS: De las 167 mujeres estudiadas, 96,4% indicaron que el médico les había aconsejado que amamantaran a su hijo. Además, 93,4% afirmaron que habían frotado con alcohol el muñón umbilical del niño. Menos de la mitad de las mujeres (46,7%) indicaron haber recibido del médico asesoramiento acerca del consumo de bebidas alcohólicas durante el embarazo, y un porcentaje aun menor (25,7%) indicó haber recibido este tipo de asesoramiento durante la lactancia. Los parientes y amigos mostraron aproximadamente la misma propensión a aconsejar acerca del consumo de bebidas alcohólicas durante el embarazo (42,6%) y la lactancia (47,9%). No obstante, el tipo de consejo fue distinto en uno y otro caso, en el sentido de que los parientes y amigos mostraron una proclividad mayor (en grado estadísticamente significativo) a alentar a la mujer a consumir bebidas alcohólicas durante la lactancia que durante el embarazo (P < 0,001). Los parientes y amigos también alentaron el consumo de mate para estimular la producción de leche. CONCLUSIONES: Como en otros contextos culturales, en Argentina existe la creencia de que el alcohol mejora la lactancia. Sin embargo, la mayoría de las mujeres entrevistadas no habían recibido asesoramiento profesional acerca del consumo de bebidas alcohólicas durante el embarazo y la lactancia. Se necesitan estrategias profesionales orientadas a lograr que las mujeres cobren mayor conciencia de los riesgos asociados con el consumo y uso del alcohol

Topics: Alcohol drinking, ethanol, breast feeding, maternal behavior, health knowledge, attitudes, practice, Argentina, LCC:Public aspects of medicine, LCC:RA1-1270, LCC:Medicine, LCC:R, DOAJ:Public Health, DOAJ:Health Sciences
Publisher: Organización Panamericana de la Salud
Year: 2004
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:0aaa384776c641a491b402dc5bf314c8
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