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Irish Child Health Database - Peer Reviewed Papers

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  • Infant feeding: factors affecting initiation, exclusivity and duration

    Published in:

    Ir Med J, Vol: 97, Page: 197-9

    Publication Date:

    2004 Jul-Aug

    Aims & Objectives:

    The aim of this study was to examine factors affecting initiation, exclusivity and duration of infant feeding

    Abstract:

    The study objective was to determine the initiation rate, duration and exclusiveness of breastfeeding, in women resident in the North Eastern Health Board (NEHB) region. An additional aim was to identify determinants that influence the initiation and duration of all types of breastfeeding. All eligible mothers completed a self-administered questionnaire. For breastfeeding mothers there was additional follow-up, by telephone, at six and fourteen weeks postnatal. In total, 127 (51.4%) mothers initiated breastfeeding. This gradually declined to 52 (21.1%) at 14 weeks postnatal. Mothers' attributes significantly associated with initiating breastfeeding included: having previously breastfed, completed third level education, decision to breastfeed made early in pregnancy, being a non-smoker, having a mother who also breastfed, belonging to higher social class and age 24 years or older. However, after controlling for all of these variables in a regression model, only the following factors remained significant: having previously breastfed, completed third level education and the decision to breastfeed made early in pregnancy. Therefore, as decisions on infant feeding method are made prior to or early in pregnancy, efforts to increase breastfeeding rates will have to occur at societal level. Health sector initiatives can only have limited effect. In addition, creative methods must be developed and employed to encourage women from lower socio-economic groups to breastfeed.

    Authors:

    M. Ward; A. Sheridan; F. Howell; I. Hegarty; A. O'Farrell

    Study Type:

    Study Papers » Case Study » Descriptive Studies - Without a comparision

    Categories:

    infant feeding

    International Classification:

    Breastfeeding +/- formulae milk

    Keywords:


    Geography:

    Republic of Ireland (Republic of)