262305 Breastfeeding duration and life-course factors: An analysis to inform health policy

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Jennifer Pitonyak, MS, OTR/L, SCFES, CIMI , Department of Occupational Therapy, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Amy B. Jessop, PhD, MPH , Department of Health Policy and Public Health, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Claudia Parvanta, PhD , Behavioral and Social Sciences, University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, PA
Laura Pontiggia, PhD , Department of Math and Statistics, University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, PA
Andrea Crivelli-Kovach, PhD , Community Health, Arcadia University, Glenside, PA
Background: Breastfeeding improves health of both mothers and infants. Public health, medicine, and advocacy groups recommend exclusive breastfeeding of infants to at least 6 months of age. Most US women do not meet this recommendation. Factors supporting or hindering breastfeeding are identified, but their influence on breastfeeding duration and exclusive breastfeeding is less understood. This study uses the life-course perspective of health to examine relationships among breastfeeding duration and exclusive breastfeeding and life-course factors of demographic characteristics, employment and childcare factors and maternal depression risk. Results may inform national and local policy decisions. Methods: Study data were obtained from the longitudinal Infant Feeding Practices Study II (IFPS II) conducted by the FDA and CDC from 2005-2007. IFPS II surveyed a national sample of more than 4,900 mothers prenatally and repeatedly until their children were 12 months old. Bivariate and multivariate methods were used to measure association between the dependent variables breastfeeding duration and exclusive breastfeeding with demographic, employment, childcare, depression risk, health and social support for breastfeeding. Results: Duration of breastfeeding varied within the sample based on employment, childcare, and depression risk. The interaction of these life-course factors also influences breastfeeding duration and exclusivity. Conclusion: Recognizing factors which may influence duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding can assist in developing informed policies and practices likely to achieve the full benefit of breastfeeding for mothers, infants, and society.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the application of the life-course perspective of health to the health behavior of breastfeeding 2. Discuss the relationships between breastfeeding duration and life-course factors such as demographic characteristics and maternal depression risk 3. Identify the characteristics of employment and childcare that present barriers to breastfeeding duration

Keywords: Breastfeeding, Maternal and Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I completed this study for my dissertation work towards a PhD in Health Policy. I have previously presented at APHA and other national conferences on the topics of family mental health, program development, and the role of occupational therapy in public health.
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.