Influential Factors of Breastfeeding after Assisted Reproduction: A Spanish Cohort

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Feb 25;19(5):2673. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19052673.


The impact of assisted reproduction techniques (ART) when starting to breastfeed is an important issue that has been sparsely addressed in scientific literature and yet has contradictory results. This study aims to determine the relation between the mode of fertilization and breastfeeding by means of a retrospective longitudinal cohort study that included newborns and mothers who gave birth between 2012 and 2019 in a third-level regional hospital. Data were collected from a total of 11,285 women and newborns, of which 302 (2.6%) used ART. Logistic regression was used to establish models that determine the administration of exclusive breastfeeding (BF). Among the 1208 analyzed participants, 30% conceived using fertility treatment. In this group of participants, BF was less prevalent, both in the delivery room (25.8% versus 45.5%; p < 0.001) and when discharged from hospital (42.1% versus 57.9%; p < 0.001). Healthy newborns and BF in the delivery room were predictors of BF when discharged. On the other hand, the use of ART, an Apgar score lower than 7 at birth, the use of an epidural and a premature or underweight baby are considered negative predictors of exclusive BF when discharged. It is necessary to offer greater support for all mothers regarding BF, especially those who have conceived through ART, even more so in those cases that involve an epidural and/or caesarean section, starting throughout the dilation process.

Keywords: breastfeeding; breastfeeding barriers; caesarean section; lactation; postpartum care; reproductive techniques.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding*
  • Cesarean Section*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Mothers
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproduction
  • Retrospective Studies