Objectives: The primary objective was to determine the rate of breastfeeding by gestational age reported by new mothers 1 month postpartum, with particular focus on early term newborns (37-386/7 weeks). Materials and Methods: Three thousand six primiparous women aged 18-36 years were interviewed during their third trimester and again 1 month postpartum. Logistic regression analysis was used to model the association between gestational age and breastfeeding 1 month postpartum among those who reported that they planned to breastfeed, controlling for potentially confounding variables. Results: Two thousand seven hundred seventy-two women planned to breastfeed (92.2%), among whom 116 (4.2%) delivered late preterm (34-366/7 weeks), 519 (18.7%) early term (37-386/7 weeks), and 2,137 (77.1%) term or postterm (39+ weeks). Among those who delivered late preterm, 63.8% were breastfeeding 1 month postpartum, early term 72.6%, and term or postterm 76.5%. This relationship was verified by a multivariate logistic regression analysis; late preterm newborns were significantly less likely to be breastfeeding 1 month postpartum than the term or postterm newborns (odds ratio [OR] 0.44; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.28-0.69; p ≤ 0.0001), as were early term newborns (OR 0.77; 95% CI 0.60-0.99; p = 0.038). Conclusions: In this large prospective study of first-time mothers and newborns, gestational age was significantly associated with breastfeeding 1 month postpartum; highlighting late preterm and early term infants as populations at risk for shortened breastfeeding duration and the need to create specific breastfeeding support and education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-125
Number of pages7
JournalBreastfeeding Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics
  • Health Policy
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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