Association between Stressful Life Events and Exclusive Breastfeeding among Mothers in the United States

Vickie M. Dugat, Ilana R.Azulay Chertok, Zelalem T. Haile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Despite the known benefits of breastfeeding, many women in the United States do not exclusively breastfeed for the recommended 6 months due to various factors. Limited studies have examined the association between prenatal stressful life events and exclusive breastfeeding duration. The aim of this study was to examine the association between prenatal stressful life events and exclusive breastfeeding duration for 3 months among mothers in the United States. Materials and Methods: We analyzed data from 2009 to 2011 (Phase 6) Pregnancy Risk Assessment and Monitoring System (PRAMS; n = 43,934). Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to estimate adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). Results: Overall, 43% of the study participants exclusively breastfed for 3 months and 52.1% reported having no stressful life events during pregnancy. In the multivariable model, there was a statistically significant interaction between maternal age and number of stressful life events on 3-month exclusive breastfeeding, the odds of exclusive breastfeeding for 3 months were lower among women ≤24 years old who experienced at least ≥2 stressful life events compared with women who did not experience any stressful life events: OR 95% CI 0.80 (0.66-0.98) for 1-2 stressful life events, 0.67 (0.54-0.82) for 3-5 stressful life events, and 0.58 (0.43-0.80) for ≥6 stressful life events, respectively. Conclusions: Identification of stressful life event exposure among young mothers is important for extending support toward this population to increase exclusive breastfeeding duration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-481
Number of pages7
JournalBreastfeeding Medicine
Volume14
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • PRAMS
  • exclusive breastfeeding
  • stressful life events

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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