Factors influencing duration of breast feeding among low-income women

J Am Diet Assoc. 1988 Dec;88(12):1557-61.


Forty low-income breast feeding primiparous women were interviewed to determine whether family member and peer attitudes toward breast feeding and available postpartum support were associated with continued or early termination of breast feeding. Mean breast feeding duration equalled 20.5 weeks (range, 1 to 52 weeks). When an outside source of assistance (a doula) was available during the first 2 weeks postpartum, mean duration was 23.4 weeks compared with 12.3 weeks when a doula was unavailable (p less than .05). Breast feeding duration was independent of the doula's attitude regarding breast feeding. Duration of breast feeding was significantly longer for breast feeding women who participated in the USDA Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) than for those who did not participate. All of the women claimed to like breast feeding; 93% of the husbands or boyfriends, 83% of the women's mothers, and 81% of the women's best friends had positive attitudes toward breast feeding. The more breast feeding friends the woman had, the longer she breast fed (r = .32, p less than .05). Termination of breast feeding was not due to perceived negative attitudes of family members and peers regarding breast feeding.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude*
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Poverty*
  • Time Factors