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Keywords:

  • breast-feeding method;
  • defecation;
  • growth;
  • sleep;
  • sucking period

Abstract

Background:  The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of breast-feeding method (on only one or on two sides in a single feeding session) on growth, sleep duration and sucking period, and stool frequency.

Methods:  Exclusively breast-fed healthy infants, aged 1–6 months, were included in the study during child health follow-up visits. Mothers were given a questionnaire on sleep duration, sucking periods, and stool frequencies of their infants.

Results:  The height-for-age and weight-for-age z scores were significantly higher in infants breast-fed from one side during a single session than from both sides (P= 0.002, P < 0.001; respectively). Infants sucking on only one breast in a breast-feeding session defecated significantly less at night (P= 0.005), their maximum sucking periods at night were shorter (P= 0.049).

Conclusion:  Breast-feeding at one side only during a single breast-feeding session increases growth, decreases stool frequency and the maximum sucking period at night and does not influence the overall sleep pattern.