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Risk factors related to intention to breastfeed, early weaning and suboptimal duration of breastfeeding

Authors


Correspondence E. Galanakis, Department of Paediatrics, University of Crete, POB 2208, Heraklion 710 03 Greece. Tel.: +30 2810 392012 | Fax: +30 2810 392827 | Email: egalanak@med.uoc.gr

Abstract

Aim: To identify maternal and infantile factors affecting intention to breastfeed, early weaning and duration of breastfeeding.

Design/subjects: In a prospective cohort study, 1049 mothers were interviewed after delivery and at 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months post-partum.

Results: Of 1049 mothers, 942 (89.7%) intended to breastfeed. Negative attitude was associated with lack of breastfeeding previous offspring, multiparity, admission to neonatal ward, tobacco use, prematurity and male gender (OR: 10.1, 2.67, 3.02, 2.63, 2.40 and 1.54, respectively). Six hundred and twenty-three mothers (60.7%) were breastfeeding at month 1. Early weaning was associated with lack of breastfeeding previous offspring, tobacco use, prematurity, admission to neonatal ward, caesarean section (OR: 12.3, 3.39, 2.33, 2.22, 1.34), low education (p < 0.0001) and young age (p = 0.034). Factors negatively affecting total duration of breastfeeding included lack of breastfeeding previous offspring (3.91 vs. 16.2 weeks, p < 0.001), tobacco use (6.78 vs. 15.9 weeks, p < 0.001), low education (p < 0.001), early re-employment (12.5 vs. 15.1 weeks, p < 0.01) and prematurity (p < 0.005).

Conclusion: Maternal negative attitude, tobacco use and early re-employment are factors negatively affecting breastfeeding that can be liable to intervention. All health professionals involved in perinatal medicine share a part of responsibility in sustaining breastfeeding, particularly in high-risk groups of mothers.

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