The Ontario Mother and Infant Survey: Breastfeeding Outcomes
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A cross-sectional survey of postpartum women following discharge from five hospitals in Ontario, Canada, examined breatfeeding patterns and risk factors for early discontinuation. Consenting mothers completed self-administered questionnaires prior to discharge (n = 1250) and telephone interviews at 4 weeks postdischarge (n = 875). Breastfeeding initiation rates for women completing the interview varied from 82% to 96% across the sites. Continuation rates rapidly declined, with 13% to 24% of women who had initiated breastfeeding switching to formula by 4 weeks postpartum. Perceived inadequate milk supply, difficulty with breastfeeding techniques, and sore nipples were the main reasons reported. Risk factors for breastfeeding cessation included not completing high school; intention to breastfeed less than 4 months; not anticipating the use of a "mom's group" or "drop-in center"; one or more maternal visits to a family physician; length of postpartum stay greater than 48 hours; unmet need for care or help with breastfeeding; and received advice, information, or support about formula feeding.
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