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Cumulative risks and cessation of exclusive breast feeding: Australian cross-sectional survey


Ayton, J and Van der Mei, I and Wills, K and Hansen, E and Nelson, M, Cumulative risks and cessation of exclusive breast feeding: Australian cross-sectional survey, Archives of Disease in Childhood, 100 pp. 863-868. ISSN 0003-9888 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1136/archdischild-2014-307833


Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of cessation of exclusive breast feeding at each month up to 6 months and document key factors and cumulative risks associated with exclusive breastfeeding cessation for children aged from 0 to 6 months.

Methods: Secondary analysis using a national representative sample of 22 202 mother and infant pairs derived from the 2010 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare cross-sectional survey, the Australian Infant Feeding Survey.

Results: Among breastfed infants, 49% had ceased exclusive breast feeding before they had reached 2 months of age. In the final Cox proportional hazards model, cessation of exclusive breast feeding was most strongly associated with partners preferring bottle feeding (HR 1.86, 95% CI 1.69 to 20.6) or having no preference (HR 1.37, 95% CI 1.33 to 1.42), regular dummy use (HR 1.35, 95% CI 1.31 to 1.39) and maternal obesity (HR 1.29, 95% CI 1.24 to 1.35). Living within the most disadvantaged areas of Australia (quintile 1) was not strongly associated with cessation (HR 1.08, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.14) compared with least disadvantaged areas. Having three risk factors significantly increased the risk of cessation by 31% (HR 1.31, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.6).

Conclusions: The prevalence of early cessation of exclusive breast feeding is alarmingly high with 50% of infants no longer exclusively breast fed by age 2 months. Given that not one factor is associated with cessation of exclusive breast feeding, the greatest public health impact is likely to be achieved when multiple risk factors are modified or prevented.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:exclusive breastfeeding, infants, fathers, cessation
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Primary health care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Women's and maternal health
UTAS Author:Ayton, J (Ms Jennifer Ayton)
UTAS Author:Van der Mei, I (Professor Ingrid van der Mei)
UTAS Author:Wills, K (Dr Karen Wills)
UTAS Author:Hansen, E (Dr Emily Hansen)
UTAS Author:Nelson, M (Professor Mark Nelson)
ID Code:101093
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:15
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2015-06-10
Last Modified:2017-11-03

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