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Oregon PRAMS: Presentations

Risk Factors For Not Breastfeeding at 10 weeks, Oregon, 1998-99

Kenneth D. Rosenberg, MD, MPH, Zhiwei Yu, Alfredo Sandoval Jr., MS, MBA
Oregon Health Division, Portland, Oregon
Introduction. Breastfeeding causes health benefits to mothers and babies, and reduces health care costs. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recently recommended breastfeeding for 12 months. The major barriers to long-term breastfeeding occur when mothers seek to return to work or school, when the baby is 4-16 weeks old. There is little information about breastfeeding in this period.

Methods. Oregon PRAMS surveys a stratified random sample of mothers after a live birth. Over 99% of responses occur after the baby is 10 weeks old. Mothers are asked whether they initiated breastfeeding and how long they breastfed.

Results. 1867 women responded; the response rate was 64.5%. 83.6% of Oregon women initiated breastfeeding, while only 59.5% of Oregon women were still breastfeeding by the time the baby was 10 weeks old. In a multivariate model, the women least likely to be breastfeeding at 10 weeks were unmarried women with annual family income < =$30,000 who had any insurance at the time of delivery.

Discussion. The major barriers to breastfeeding for 12 months are related to return to work or school. 28.9% of women who initiated breastfeeding stopped breastfeeding before the baby was 10 weeks old. Programs for breastfeeding initiation and continuation can be targeted at women who are unmarried, insured and poor. More work is needed to identify ways to support women who wish to continue breastfeeding when they return to work or school.

American Public Health Association 129th annual meeting, October 22, 2001