Psychosocial predictors of primiparous breastfeeding initiation and duration

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jeffrey Labban (Creator)
Esther M. Leerkes, Professor (Creator)
Cheryl A. Lovelady, Lake Simpson Dickson Distinguished Professor Emeritus (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Background: Many US women fall short of meeting the recommendations on breastfeeding.Whereas prenatal demographic factors have been well researched in relation to breastfeeding,psychosocial maternal characteristics are less understood but could be important predictors ofbreastfeeding initiation and duration.

Objective: This study examined primiparous maternal psychosocial characteristics andtemperamentally based negative infant affect as predictors of breastfeeding initiation andduration while accounting for depression and sociodemographic covariates.

Methods: Prenatally, 237 primiparous women were administered the Adult AttachmentInterview and completed a measure of beliefs related to infant crying. At 6 months postpartum,negative infant affect was assessed via mother report. Breastfeeding was assessed at 6 monthsand 1 year postpartum via mother report.

Results: Results indicated that younger, low income, less educated, single, ethnic minoritymothers and mothers with elevated depressive symptoms were less likely to initiate breastfeedingand breastfed for a shorter period than other women. Women who initiated breastfeeding tendedto have higher adult attachment coherence scores (more secure attachment) than those who didnot initiate breastfeeding (median score of 6.00 vs 4.00). An interaction was observed betweennegative infant affect and beliefs about crying related to spoiling, such that earlier cessation ofbreastfeeding was observed among mothers who reported high levels of negative infant affectand strongly endorsed the belief that responding to cries spoils infants (hazard ratio = 1.71, P <.01).

Conclusion: Although these psychosocial variables predicted relatively little variation inbreastfeeding over and above covariates, the results suggest some novel approaches to promotebreastfeeding.

Additional Information

Journal of Human Lactation, 30(4), 480-487
Language: English
Date: 2014
adult attachment, breastfeeding, breastfeeding duration, breastfeeding initiation , infant crying, prenatal factors, primiparous, temperament

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