174271 Do Types of Breastfeeding Goals Matter?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 8:45 AM

Ann M. Dozier, RN, PhD , Community and Preventive Medicine/Social and Behavioral Medicine, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Cindy R. Howard, MD, MPH , Pediatrics, Rochester General Hospital, Rochester, NY
Cynthia K. Childs, MFA, MPH , Pediatrics, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Ruth A. Lawrence, MD , Pediatrics, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Key breastfeeding (BF) duration targets (six months exclusive; 12 any BF) remain elusive for many populations. Research findings indicate that setting a personal breastfeeding goal (PBfG) increases the likelihood of reaching that goal. Not all PBfGs are the same; some mothers select a less specific milestone (“until gets teeth”; “as long as I can/he wants”) while others set a specific timeframe (e.g. six months). The efficacy of different goals is not well understood.

A recent study of over 800 BF mothers recruited in the hospital included minorities (26%), different ages (18-47), mostly married (73%), primips (48%), mostly employed (74%) and WIC enrollees (24%). BF goals categories included: none, <6 months, six months or more and milestone. A Cox proportional hazards model reaffirmed the relationship between PBfG and any BF at 6 months, while controlling for potential confounders (e.g. maternal demographic factors, prior BF, confidence and BF experience in hospital).

Additional analyses demonstrated no significant differences (p<.001) in duration at 6 months between those mothers with a milestone goal and those with 1) no specified goal or 2) goal of under six months. Mothers with a goal of at least six months (compared to milestone goal) were significantly more likely to BF at six months (2=11.1;df=1;p<.001). Identical patterns emerged for any BF at 3 months and 1 month.

While setting a specific PBfG of at least six months appears to be optimal, PBfGs are likely proxies for other factors. Additional research on the meaning of setting a PBfG is recommended.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe types of breastfeeding goals 2. Understand the relationship between breastfeeding goals and outcomes 3. Discuss clinical implications of setting breastfeeding goals

Keywords: Breast Feeding, Prenatal Interventions

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the Principal Investigator for the project reported on in this abstract
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.