Breastfeeding Duration between Two Groups of Mother-Infant Dyads

Wednesday, 14 July 2010: 8:50 AM

Rita Allen Brennan, DNP, RNC-NIC, APN/CNS
Women and Children's Services, Central DuPage Hospital, Winfield, IL

Learning Objective 1: discuss the impact that supplementation may have on duration of breastfeeding.

Learning Objective 2: outline strategies to support the breastfeeding mother.

Purpose: The aim of the study was determine if there is a difference in breastfeeding duration between 2 groups of mother-infant dyads; those that supplemented breastfeeding and those that exclusively breastfed after birth. Study questions:

1.      What is the breastfeeding duration for both groups?

2.      Is there a significant difference between the two groups in breastfeeding duration?

3.      Why do mothers discontinue breastfeeding?

4.      What opportunities are there to support the breastfeeding mother?

The working conceptual framework was derived from the World Health Organization which states that “breastfeeding is the normal way of providing …infants with the nutrients they need…” and that… “Virtually all mothers can breastfeed, provided they have accurate information and the support of their family, the health care system and society at large”

Methods: A longitudinal telephone survey was conducted at 6 weeks, 3, 6, and 12 months after birth.  A convenience sample of 373 mothers agreed to participate; 176 were available for statistical analysis at the end of the 12 months.

Results: Comparison of mean duration and differences between groups was determined. Mothers who did not supplement reported breastfeeding longer (p<0.002). Mothers who did not work outside the home were more likely to breastfeed for the 12 month period than discontinue breastfeeding (p<0.001). Additional analysis revealed that mothers who delivered vaginally breastfed their infant sooner after birth than those who delivered via cesarean section (p<.001). 

Conclusion: Breastfeeding has long-term health consequences for both the mother and infant. Nurses need to support the mother-infant dyad breastfeeding experience throughout the first year after birth. Healthcare providers must advocate for breastfeeding mothers in the workplace and in society.