Aim of this study is to compare traditional post-partum hospital stay to hospitalization associated with early protected discharge: a case-control study has been performed to evaluate outcome as mother's appreciation of the experience as well as breastfeeding. The study included 50 healthy-term newborns and their mothers, discharged within 24 and 48 hours of life, and 44 controls, who had traditional "rooming-in" stay, delivered at the Department of Neonatology--University of Turin. The protocol included a midwife daily home visits and a neonatologist and nurse visit within 4th to 5th day of life, to evaluate mother's and baby's health status and to perform metabolic screenings. An ambulatorial follow-up visit at 1 month of life and 2 telephone interviews, at 3rd and 6th month, were also planned. During the first week of life 45 (90%) early discharged newborns had complete nursing (breastfeeding + water or other fluids), 4 (8%) had complementary nursing (breastfeeding + formula) and 1 (2%) received formula. Among controls, 46 (92%) babies received complete nursing, 2 had complementary nursing and 2 had artificial nursing. At 6 months of life breastfeeding was complete for 2% of cases and 6% of controls; in 44% of cases and 56% of controls nursing was complementary. Readmissions to our Birth Center were 2 among early discharged newborns, 1 in the control group. About project's appreciation, 96% of early discharged and 98% of control group mothers declared their availability to repeat the experience. Caring and supporting were judged adequate in 94% of both group. By adequate supporting of mother and newborn, short and traditional hospitalization are both pleasant and don't seem to present significant differences in type and length of nursing.
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