Which mothers wean their babies prematurely from full breastfeeding? An Australian cohort study.Acta Paediatr 2009; 98(8):1274-7AP
To identify the maternal and infant characteristics associated with an early transition from full breastfeeding to complementary or no breastfeeding during the first 2 months of life in a large, representative cohort of Australian infants.
Multinomial logistic modelling was performed on data for infants with complete breastfeeding and sociodemographic data (N = 4679) including maternal age, education, smoking, employment, pregnancy and birth outcomes.
Ninety-one percent of women initiated breastfeeding. Sixty-nine percent of infants were being fully breastfed at 1 month, and 59% were fully breastfed at 2 months. Maternal characteristics - age less than 25 years, smoking in pregnancy, early full-time postnatal employment and less educational attainment - were associated with early breastfeeding cessation. Infant factors - multiple birth, caesarean birth, infant or first birth - were associated with a transition to complementary breastfeeding in the first postnatal month.
Breastfeeding duration is substantially affected by breastfeeding outcomes in the first postpartum month. The first month is an important window for evidence-based interventions to improve rates of full breastfeeding in groups of women identified as at risk of early breastfeeding cessation.