• Key phrases: Breastfeeding;
  • mother-infant contact

ABSTRACT. We tested the hypothesis that extra early physical contact between mother and infant is associated with prolonged breast-feeding. Healthy, advantaged mothers and their healthy, mature, vaginally-delivered, firstborn infants were randomly assigned to receive either regular contact (N=39) or extra early contact beginning approximately one-half hour after delivery (N=39). Fifty-three (68%) of the 78 infants were breast-fed. Age at which complete weaning occurred was known for 50 (94%) of the 53 infants. Prolonged breast-feeding was not significantly associated with extra contact. Suckling during extra early contact was associated with greater incidence of breast-feeding at two months (p < 0.001) and three, four and five months (0.10 > p > 0.05) for male and female infants combined.