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J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 2007 Apr-Jun;21(2):165-72.

Opposing effects of maternal and paternal socioeconomic status on neonatal feeding method, place of sleep, and maternal sleep time.

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  • 1Department of Professional Roles and Mental Health Nursing, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN 37614, USA.



This study was conducted to compare the relative influence of the socioeconomic status of both mothers and fathers on feeding method and cosleeping.


The time and method of feeding and sleeping were recorded in a log during the 4th-week postpartum and analyzed according to the parental Hollingshead Index of Social Position in 33 families with their first newborn.


The effect of socioeconomic status on feeding and sleep was parent specific. Low socioeconomic status of the mother, but not the father, was associated with cosleeping (t = 2.39, P < .01); whereas, a low socioeconomic status of the father, but not the mother, was associated with bottle-feeding rather than breast-feeding (t = 1.94, P < .05).


Socioeconomic status of the parents differentially affects neonatal care. Programs to increase breast-feeding rates would be most effective if designed for and aimed at the fathers.

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