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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Policy
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Maternity and Midwifery