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J Reprod Infant Psychol. 2013 Jul 1;31(3):299-308.

A Month of Breastfeeding Associated with Greater Adherence to Pediatric Nutrition Guidelines.

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Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Irvine.



Research has shown that both breastfeeding and delaying the introduction of solids or liquids other than breast milk protect against obesity later in early childhood.


To compare whether breastfeeding mothers adhere to more of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) feeding recommendations for infants.


This longitudinal study compared the breastfeeding knowledge, intentions, and practices as well as complementary feeding choices of 163 ethnically diverse, primiparous women over the first 18 months of motherhood.


Although almost all women knew about the health benefits of (98%) breastfeeding and intended to (98%) breastfeed, only 85% initiated and 51% continued beyond 4 weeks. Breastfeeding for longer durations was associated with better feeding choices. Mothers who breastfed for more weeks were more likely to adhere to AAP guidelines on liquids other than breast milk at 4, 6, and 12 months, and introduce solids, liquids other than breast milk, and other complimentary foods at later ages. Furthermore, mothers who breastfed for less than 1 month were more likely to introduce solids by 2 months in comparison to mothers who breastfed for 1 month or more (OR=3.22).


Knowledge and intentions do not explain breastfeeding initiation or continuation. However, when women committed to more weeks of breastfeeding, especially more than 4 weeks, they made better nutrition choices for their infants.


AAP Nutrition Guidelines; Breast milk; Breastfeeding; Complimentary Feeding; Food Introduction; Infant nutrition; Nutrition

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