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Type: Journal article
Title: Can we identify women who initiate and then prematurely cease breastfeeding? An Australian multicentre cohort study
Author: Quinlivan, J.
Kua, S.
Gibson, R.
McPhee, A.
Makrides, M.
Citation: International Breastfeeding Journal, 2015; 10(1):16-1-16-6
Publisher: BioMed Central
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1746-4358
Statement of
Julie Quinlivan, Sonia Kua, Robert Gibson, Andrew McPhee, and Maria M Makrides
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Health authorities recommend 6 months of fully breastfeeding and continuation of breastfeeding for at least a year. Many women initiate breastfeeding in hospital but discontinue before the six-month period, and therefore do not optimise the public health benefits. The aim of this study was to determine whether these women could be identified at hospital discharge, to enable targeted interventions. METHODS: A secondary analysis of women who intended to breastfeed and were enrolled in a large randomised trial was undertaken. Women were enrolled in the antenatal period and antenatal, delivery and six month postnatal questionnaires were completed. Univariate and multivariate analyses were undertaken to determine the variables associated with early cessation of breastfeeding within six months, compared to women who continued to breastfeed. RESULTS: Of 2148 women who initiated breastfeeding in hospital, 877 continued to breastfed either partially (N = 262) or fully (N = 615) until six months postpartum and 1271 ceased breastfeeding early. Median breastfeeding duration in women who ceased early was 3(+6) weeks (IQR 1(+1) to 11(+2) weeks). In multivariate analysis, factors that were significantly associated with early cessation of breastfeeding were maternal factors of lower education (less than 12 years of schooling, no completion of further education), smoking (pre-pregnancy or during pregnancy), and newborn factors of preterm birth and low birthweight (all p < 0.01). These variables correctly identify 83% of women. CONCLUSION: We can identify women who initiate and then prematurely discontinue breastfeeding prior to hospital discharge. Evaluation of additional interventions to support longer duration of breastfeeding in women at risk of ceasing prematurely is needed.
Keywords: Breastfeeding; Education; Longitudinal study; Low birth weight; Pregnancy; Preterm birth; Smoking
Rights: © 2015 Quinlivan et al.; licensee BioMed Central. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
RMID: 0030028548
DOI: 10.1186/s13006-015-0040-y
Grant ID:
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