Is breastfeeding duration related to the health of migrant mother-child dyads experiencing homelessness? The ENFAMS cross-sectional survey

Publié le 20 juin 2023
Mis à jour le 16 janvier 2024

BACKGROUND: Literature from the general population shows a consensus about the health benefits associated with breastfeeding for both mothers and children. However, studies investigating these issues in the context of homelessness and migration are rare. This research aimed to examine the relations of any breastfeeding duration with health outcomes among migrant mother-child dyads experiencing homelessness. METHODS: Data were collected among sheltered and mainly foreign-born mothers experiencing homelessness, and their children aged 6 months to 5 years, from the ENFAMS cross-sectional survey (n = 481, 2013-Great Paris area). Any breastfeeding duration, along with various health outcomes of both the mother and her child, was ascertained by face-to-face questionnaires administered by trained interviewers to mothers (perceived physical and emotional health and maternal depression) or by trained psychologists to children (adaptive behaviours). Nurses measured weight and height [thus allowing them to calculate body mass index (BMI)] and haemoglobin concentration (mother-child dyad) and maternal blood pressure. Multivariable linear and modified Poisson regression analyses were performed to examine outcome-wide associations between any breastfeeding duration ≥6 months and the various mother-child outcomes. RESULTS: Any breastfeeding ≥6 months was associated with lower systolic blood pressure in mothers (B = -0.40, 95% confidence interval = -0.68 to -0.12). No association was observed with the other outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: The relevance of supporting breastfeeding to improve mothers" physical health holds true in the context of migration and homelessness. It is therefore important to support breastfeeding in these settings. Moreover, given the documented social complexity of breastfeeding practices, interventions should take mothers" socio-cultural heritage and the structural barriers they face into account.

Auteur : Descarpentrie Alexandra, Poquet Delphine, Brugailleres Pauline, Sauvegrain Priscille, Frenoy Pauline, Richard Elodie, Bernard Jonathan Y, de Lauzon-Guillain Blandine, Vandentorren Stéphanie, Lioret Sandrine
European journal of public health, 2023, vol. 33, n°. 5, p. 796-802