Lactation duration: influences of human milk replacements and formula samples on women planning postpartum employment

J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. Nov-Dec 1998;27(6):646-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.1998.tb02634.x.


Objective: To examine the influences of inhospital administration of breast milk replacements and receipt of formula samples on lactation duration among women planning postpartum employment.

Design: Prospective design.

Setting: Telephone interviews conducted prenatally and at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months post-partum.

Participants: Sixty-nine participants entered the study; 53 completed all scheduled interviews.

Main outcome measures: Incidence and type of in-hospital human milk replacement, incidence and sources of formula samples, incidence of breastfeeding at 6 weeks postpartum, and duration of lactation.

Results: During hospitalization, 19% of infants received formula; the incidence of breastfeeding at 6 weeks and duration of breastfeeding were significantly shorter in these infants compared with infants who were not fed formula. Fifty-nine percent of participants received formula samples from the hospital, 30% received samples from a physician's office, and 51% received samples by mail. Receipt of formula samples by mail was associated with reduced incidence of breastfeeding at 6 weeks and shortened duration of lactation.

Conclusions: Early formula feeding and receipt of formula samples by mail may be barriers to lactation in women employed outside the home.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Employment*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indiana
  • Infant
  • Infant Food*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lactation*
  • Maternal-Child Nursing*
  • Milk, Human*
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Postpartum Period*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors