258767 Smoking and breastfeeding: Practices of low-income mothers

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 4:50 PM - 5:10 PM

Caitlin Cross-Barnet, PhD , Department of Sociology, Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA
Susan Gross, PhD, MPH, RD , Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Marycatherine Augustyn, PhD , Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Amy Resnik, MS, RD, CSP, LDN , Maryland WIC Program, Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Balitmore, MD
David M. Paige, MD MPH , Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Low-income U.S mothers have high smoking and low breastfeeding rates. Smoking is most prevalent among non-Hispanic white and black mothers. Although breastfeeding's benefits for infants whose mothers smoke outweigh risks of tobacco exposure through breast milk, these mothers may believe that breastfeeding is unsafe. Maryland WIC's 2007 database provided information for 14687 non-Hispanic black and white mothers with household incomes below 180% of the poverty line who registered that year. Multinomial logistic regression assessed the likelihood of mothers who reported cigarette smoking registering as exclusively breastfeeding, partially breastfeeding, or formula feeding versus those who did not smoke. The analysis controlled for public assistance program participation and cesarean birth. Mothers who reported smoking were 5 times more likely to register as entirely formula feeding rather than exclusively breastfeeding (OR 5.03; CI 3.81, 6.66). There was no difference in smoking status between partially and exclusively breastfeeding women. Being African American and having a cesarean reduced the likelihood of exclusively breastfeeding, and increased the likelihood of partially breastfeeding and formula feeding. Participating in multiple public assistance programs had no effect on entirely formula feeding. Maryland WIC participants who reported smoking were more likely to formula feed, but no more likely to supplement breastfeeding with formula, potentially indicating a belief that smoking and breastfeeding are incompatible. Reducing smoking in this population must be addressed; however, these findings suggest that increasing knowledge of breastfeeding's safety and benefits among mothers who smoke is critical to public health efforts to increase breastfeeding rates.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Identify high risk groups for post-partum smoking. Compare infant feeding patterns between low-income mothers who smoke and those who do not. Evaluate potential reasons for low breastfeeding rates among mothers who smoke.

Keywords: Smoking, Breastfeeding

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked in substance abuse education, counseling and research since 2002 and in breastfeeding education, advocacy, and research since 1994. I have conducted quantitative and qualitative research through the Maryland WIC program since 2007.
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.