Objective: To examine the change in breastfeeding behaviors over time, among low birth weight (LBW), very low birth weight (VLBW), and normal birth weight (NBW) infants using nationally representative US data. Study design: Univariate statistics and bivariate logistic models were examined using the Early Child Longitudinal Study—Birth Cohort (2001) and National Study of Children's Health (2007 and 2011/2012). Results: Breastfeeding behaviors improved for infants of all birth weights from 2007 to 2011/2012. In 2011/2012, a higher percentage of VLBW infants were ever breastfed compared with LBW and NBW infants. In 2011/2012, LBW infants had a 28% lower odds (95% CI, 0.57-0.92) of ever breastfeeding and a 52% lower odds (95% CI, 0.38-0.61) of breastfeeding for ≥6 months compared with NBW infants. Among black infants, a larger percentage of VLBW infants were breastfed for ≥6 months (26.2%) compared with LBW infants (14.9%). Conclusions: Breastfeeding rates for VLBW and NBW infants have improved over time. Both VLBW and NBW infants are close to meeting the Healthy People 2020 ever breastfeeding goal of 81.9%. LBW infants are farther from this goal than VLBW infants. The results suggest a need for policies that encourage breastfeeding specifically among LBW infants.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health