Predictors of predominant breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding among mothers of young infants participating in the iGrow study

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tamika Watts (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Lenka Shriver

Abstract: Breastfeeding is considered the preferred method of infant feeding due to its health benefits. However, breastfeeding rates tend to be below desired levels in the United States. While factors such as race have been well documented in previous literature, little is known about what factors influence and contribute to these disparities. The main purpose of this study was to examine predictors of predominant breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding in early infancy in a racially/ethnically and socio-economically diverse sample of mother-infant dyads who participated in the Infant Growth and Development Study (iGrow). Data was collected from cohort 1 mothers at a prenatal visit and a lab visit at 2–months of infant age (cohort 1; n=151 mothers and infants). Questionnaires via Qualtrics were used to gather demographic information and the Infant Feeding Practices II was used to gather information about feeding method at 2-months and sources of information and support for breastfeeding. The significant predictors of predominant breastfeeding in our sample at the time of the 2-month visit were pre-pregnancy BMI and prenatal feeding intentions to “breastfeed only.” Exclusive breastfeeding at the time of the 2-month visit was significantly predicted by maternal pre-pregnancy BMI, prenatal feeding intentions to “breastfeed only” and vaginal birth. Our study is important as it highlights lower pre-pregnancy BMI and prenatal intentions to “breastfeed only” as the key predictors of predominant breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding in a diverse sample of mother-infant dyads in North Carolina. Future interventions should focus on educating women about the importance of breastfeeding, sharing information about the wide range of benefits related to breastfeeding for both the infant and the mother, and providing resources and support services related to breastfeeding issues prior to infant birth and during the postnatal period.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2023
Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding benefits, Exclusive, Infant feeding, Pre-pregnancy BMI, Predominant
Breastfeeding $z North Carolina
Breastfeeding promotion $z North Carolina
Infants $x Nutrition $z North Carolina

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