Table 1

Characteristics of the mothers and infants included in the analysis, by study group

Early interventionLate interventionp Value
Mean (SD) age (years)32 (5)32 (5)0.121
Mean (SD) education (years)14 (4)13 (4)<0.001
Employment: paid occupation76%78%0.095
Italian85%85%0.535
Living with the partner97%96%0.004
Smoking
 Before pregnancy29%27%0.109
 During pregnancy11%8%0.003
Referred BMI
 <2580%79%0.436
 25 to 29.914%15%
 ≥306%6%
Gestational diabetes7%8%0.021
Primiparae57%54%0.053
Attendance at antenatal classes44%44%0.716
 At least one session on BF82%87%0.002
Delivery at term (38–41 weeks)92%90%0.003
C-section rate27%29%0.058
Anaesthesia or analgesia during labour/delivery (including C-section)55%60%<0.001
Mean (SD) birth weight (g)3304 (443)3283 (443)0.092
Previous BF experience41%44%0.126
Of which
 <6 months31%37%0.034
 6 to 12 months45%42%
 13 to 24 months20%18%
 >24 months4%3%
Intention to breastfeed current baby99%98%0.126
 Exclusively for at least 6 months82%80%0.184
Birth in a Baby Friendly Hospital32%27%<0.001
Baby latched on within 1 h61%67%<0.001
Rooming-in (24 h/day, all infants)77%80%0.080
Baby-led BF (breastfed infants)90%89%0.246
Baby used bottle (all infants)20%18%0.001
Baby used pacifier (all infants)19%26%<0.001
  • BF, breast feeding; BMI, body mass index; C-section, caesarean section.