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J Fam Pract. 2002 May;51(5):439-44.

Factors associated with weaning in the first 3 months postpartum.

Author information

  • 1Dept of Family Medicine, Wayne State University, 101 E. Alexandrine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA. Kensch@med.wayne.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the demographic, behavioral, and clinical factors associated with breastfeeding termination in the first 12 weeks postpartum.

STUDY DESIGN:

This was a prospective cohort study.

POPULATION:

Breastfeeding women in Michigan and Nebraska were interviewed by telephone at 3, 6, 9, and 12 weeks postpartum or until breastfeeding termination.

OUTCOMES MEASURED:

We measured associations of demographic, clinical, and breastfeeding variables with weaning during the first 12 weeks postpartum.

RESULTS:

A total of 946 women participated; 75% breastfed until 12 weeks. Women older than 30 years and women with at least a bachelor's degree were more likely to continue breastfeeding in any given week. Mastitis, breast or nipple pain, bottle use, and milk expression in the first 3 weeks were all associated with termination. Beyond 3 weeks, women who expressed breast milk were 75% less likely to discontinue breastfeeding than women who did not. Women who used a bottle for some feedings during weeks 4 to 12 were 98% less likely to discontinue breastfeeding than women who did not use a bottle. "Not enough milk" was the most common reason given for termination in weeks 1 through 3 (37%) and weeks 4 through 6 (35%); "return to work" was the most common reason given in weeks 7 through 9 (53%) and weeks 10 through 12 (58%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Younger women and less educated women need additional support in their breastfeeding efforts. Counseling and assistance should be provided to women with pain and mastitis. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 3 weeks should be recommended. After the first 3 weeks, bottles and manual expression are not associated with weaning and may improve the likelihood of continuing breastfeeding, at least until 12 weeks.

PMID:
12019051
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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