Predictors of breastfeeding duration for rural women in a high-income country: Evidence from a cohort study
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Aim - To determine the prevalence of exclusive and 'any breastfeeding' at six months in rural Western Australia and to identify the predictors of exclusive and 'any breastfeeding' duration up to 12 months. Methods - A total of 427 mothers (52% of those contacted) were recruited from maternity services in rural WA and asked to complete a baseline questionnaire. Mothers were recontacted at 4, 6, 10, 16, 26, 32, 40 and 52 weeks to determine factors associated with feeding practices. Results - Smoking during pregnancy was the strongest predictor of exclusive breastfeeding cessation before six months (aHR 3.21, 95% CI 1.89, 5.46). A favourable attitude towards breastfeeding, a body mass index of <30 and a return to work after six months were associated with reduced risk of breastfeeding cessation before both six and 12 months. Conclusion - Breastfeeding duration in rural Western Australia is influenced by modifiable factors such as smoking during pregnancy and prepregnancy obesity, therefore strategies to address these risk factors in rural women prior to delivery may contribute to improved breastfeeding rates.
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