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Counselling sessions increased duration of exclusive breastfeeding: a randomized clinical trial with adolescent mothers and grandmothers

Luciana Dias de Oliveira12*, Elsa Regina Justo Giugliani123, Lilian Córdova do Espírito Santo4 and Leandro Meirelles Nunes5

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Ramiro Barcelos, 2400, bairro Santa Cecília, CEP 90035-003 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

2 Centro de Estudos em Alimentação e Nutrição (CESAN), UFRGS, Ramiro Barcelos, 2400, bairro Santa Cecília, CEP 90035-003 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

3 Post-Graduate Program in Children and Adolescent Health, UFRGS, Ramiro Barcelos, 2400, 2° andar, bairro Santa Cecília, CEP 90035-003 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

4 Nursing School, UFRGS, Rua São Manoel, 963, bairro Rio Branco, CEP 90620-110 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

5 Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre, Ramiro Barcelos, 2350, bairro Santa Cecília, CEP 90035-903 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

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Nutrition Journal 2014, 13:73  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-73

Published: 17 July 2014



Considering that adolescent mothers may be more vulnerable to discontinuing exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) before 6 months and that their mothers may exert a negative influence on this practice, this study was conducted with the objective of evaluating the efficacy of breastfeeding counselling for adolescent mothers and their mothers in increasing EBF duration.


A clinical trial was performed in 323 adolescent mothers with newborns and their mothers randomized in four groups: (1) not living with mother, without intervention; (2) not living with mother, with intervention; (3) living with mother, without intervention, (4) living with mother, with intervention. The intervention consisted of five counselling sessions directed to mother and grandmother, in the maternity hospital and on follow-up. Information about feeding practices during the newborn’s first six months of life was collected monthly by telephone. Intervention’s efficacy was measured through Cox regression and comparison of exclusive breastfeeding medians and survival curves for the different groups.


The intervention increased the duration of EBF by67 days for the group which included grandmothers (HR = 0.64; CI 95% = 0.46-0.90) and 46 days for the group which did not include grandmothers (HR = 0.52; CI 95% = 0.36-0.76).


Counselling sessions in the first four months of children’s lives proved to be effective in increasing EBF duration among adolescent mothers.

Trial registration NCT00910377.

Clinical trial; Breastfeeding; Adolescent health; Family relations