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High education and increased parity are associated with breast-feeding initiation and duration among Australian women
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS). Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7034-1922
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2016 (English)In: Public Health Nutrition, ISSN 1368-9800, E-ISSN 1475-2727, Vol. 19, no 14, 2551-2561 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: Breast-feeding is associated with positive maternal and infant health and development outcomes. To assist identifying women less likely to meet infant nutritional guidelines, we investigated the role of socio-economic position and parity on initiation of and sustaining breast-feeding for at least 6 months.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Setting: Australia.

Subjects: Parous women from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (born 1973–78), with self-reported reproductive and breast-feeding history (N 4777).

Results: While 89 % of women (83 % of infants) had ever breast-fed, only 60 % of infants were breast-fed for at least 6 months. Multiparous women were more likely to breast-feed their first child (~90 % v. ~71 % of primiparous women), and women who breast-fed their first child were more likely to breast-feed subsequent children. Women with a low education (adjusted OR (95 % CI): 2·09 (1·67, 2·62)) or a very low-educated parent (1·47 (1·16, 1·88)) had increased odds of not initiating breast-feeding with their first or subsequent children. While fewer women initiated breast-feeding with their youngest child, this was most pronounced among high-educated women. While ~60 % of women breast-fed their first, second and third child for at least 6 months, low-educated women (first child, adjusted OR (95 % CI): 2·19 (1·79, 2·68)) and women with a very low (1·82 (1·49, 2·22)) or low-educated parent (1·69 (1·33, 2·14)) had increased odds of not breast-feeding for at least 6 months.

Conclusions: A greater understanding of barriers to initiating and sustaining breastfeeding, some of which are socio-economic-specific, may assist in reducing inequalities in infant breast-feeding.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 19, no 14, 2551-2561 p.
Keyword [en]
Breast-feeding initiation, Breast-feeding duration, Social inequalities, Socio-economic position, Infant feeding guidelines
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-128602DOI: 10.1017/S1368980016000367ISI: 000384414900009PubMedID: 26996672OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-128602DiVA: diva2:915887
Available from: 2016-03-31 Created: 2016-03-31 Last updated: 2016-10-31Bibliographically approved

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