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J Hum Lact. 2004 Feb;20(1):30-8.

Breastfeeding duration in an Australian population: the influence of modifiable antenatal factors.

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  • 1Royal Women's Hospital in Brisbane, Australia.


Despite well-documented health benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and babies, most women discontinue breastfeeding before the recommended 12 months to 2 years. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of modifiable antenatal variables on breastfeeding outcomes. A prospective, longitudinal study was conducted with 300 pregnant, Australian women. Questionnaires containing variables of interest were administered to women during their last trimester; infant feeding method was assessed at 1 week and 4 months postpartum. Intended breastfeeding duration and breastfeeding self-efficacy were identified as the most significant modifiable variables predictive of breastfeeding outcomes. Mothers who intended to breastfeed for < 6 months were 2.4 times as likely to have discontinued breastfeeding at 4 months compared to those who intended to breastfeed for > 12 months (35.7% vs 87.5%). Similarly, mothers with high breastfeeding self-efficacy were more likely to be breastfeeding compared to mothers with low self-efficacy (79.3% vs 50.0%).

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