Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Purpose - Despite the increase in breastfeeding initiation and duration in the United States, only five states have met the three Healthy People 2010 breastfeeding objectives. Our objectives are to study women's self-reported reasons for not initiating breastfeeding and to determine whether these reasons vary by race/ethnicity, and other maternal and hospital support characteristics.
Methods - Data are from the 2000-2003 Arkansas Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, restricting the sample to women who did not initiate breastfeeding (unweighted n = 2,917). Reasons for not initiating breastfeeding are characterized as individual reasons, household responsibilities, and circumstances. Analyses include the χ2 test and multiple logistic regression.
Results - About 38% of Arkansas mothers of live singletons did not initiate breastfeeding. There was a greater representation of non-Hispanic Blacks among those who did not initiate breastfeeding (32%) than among those who initiated breastfeeding (9.9%). Among those who never breastfed, individual reasons were most frequently cited for noninitiation (63.0%). After adjusting for covariates, Hispanics had three times the odds of citing circumstances than Whites (odds ration [OR], 3.07; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.31-7.18). Women who indicated that the hospital staff did not teach them how to breastfeed had more than two times greater odds of citing individual reasons (OR, 2.25; 95% CI, 1.30-3.91) or reasons related to household responsibilities (OR, 2.27; 95% CI, 1.19-4.36) as compared with women who indicated they were taught.
Conclusions - Findings suggest the need for targeting breastfeeding interventions to different subgroups of women. In addition, there are implications for policy particularly regarding breastfeeding support in hospitals.
Published in Women's Health Issues, ed. Anne Rossier Markus, Volume 19, Issue 4, 2009, pages 268-278.
Ogbuanu, C. A., Probst, J., Laditka, S. B., Liu, J., Baek, J.D., & Glover, S. (2009). Reasons why women do not initiate breastfeeding: A southeastern state study. Women's Health Issues, 19(4), 268-278.
© Women's Health Issues, 2009, Elsevier
NOTICE: This is the author's version of a work that was accepted for publication in Women's Health Issues. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Women's Health Issues, [Volume #19, Issue #4, (2009)] DOI: 10.1016/j.whi.2009.03.005