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Breastfeed Med. 2008 Mar;3(1):3-10. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2007.0022.

Comparison of manual and electric breast pumps among WIC women returning to work or school in Hawaii.

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Family Health Services Division, Hawaii Department of Health, Honolulu, Hawaii 96816, USA.



The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) branch of the Hawaii Department of Health encourages and assists mothers in breastfeeding. A study was done to determine whether an electric breast pump (vs. a manual pump) would increase breastfeeding duration in those returning to work or school full-time.


During 2002-2003, a randomized trial was conducted among 280 women, with the duration of breastfeeding analyzed in 229 of these women. Descriptive analyses and a multivariate logistic regression analysis assessed factors associated with breastfeeding at 6 months. Unadjusted and adjusted survival analyses were performed to estimate the duration of breastfeeding.


In all, 76.8% of women using the manual breast pump and 72.3% of those using the electric breast pump breastfed for at least 6 months. This difference did not reach statistical significance. In the survival analysis adjusted for pump assignment, maternal age, race/ethnicity, marital status, and parity, women with at least some college education breastfed for a 38% shorter time than women with a high school or lower education.


Our findings suggest that the manual breast pump may work as well as the electric breast pump when breastfeeding is encouraged and supported among women returning to work or school full-time. Particular attention should be given to examining reasons why women with greater education breastfed for a shorter duration. Further research is needed to validate these results to better inform breastfeeding women returning to work or school.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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