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Pediatrics. 2010 Sep;126(3):e601-7. doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-0771. Epub 2010 Aug 2.

Influence of peers on breastfeeding discontinuation among new parents: the Melbourne InFANT Program.

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Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, Deakin University, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Victoria 3125, Australia.



We aimed to investigate whether the proportion of breastfeeding mothers in first-time parent groups influenced the likelihood of ceasing breastfeeding and whether this was independent of socioeconomic position.


Data were from 501 mothers (from 62 first-time parent groups initiated approximately 6 weeks after birth) who provided data at the baseline and mid-intervention assessments of the Melbourne Infant Feeding, Activity, and Nutrition Trial. Parent groups were divided into those in which <or=25% of mothers had ceased breastfeeding by 6 weeks (low-cessation groups) and those in which >25% had ceased by 6 weeks (high-cessation groups).


With the exclusion of mothers who had already ceased breastfeeding by 6 weeks, the proportion of mothers who ceased breastfeeding between the time of parent group initiation (6 weeks) and 6 months was higher in high-cessation groups than in low-cessation groups (37.4% vs 21.7%; P=.001). After adjustment for maternal age, BMI, employment, and education and area-level socioeconomic position, membership in a group in which a large proportion of mothers had ceased breastfeeding by 6 weeks was strongly related to cessation of breastfeeding before 6 months (odds ratio: 2.1 [95% confidence interval: 1.3-3.3]).


Attendance at parent groups where peers are breastfeeding infants of a similar age may have an important influence on the continuation of breastfeeding to 6 months. First-time parent groups or other similar groups may be an important setting in which to promote the continuation of breastfeeding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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