Breastfeeding interventions in Kansas: An exploration of mothers' breastfeeding practices, views, and perceived barriers
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant's life. In the United States, about three quarters of women start breastfeeding in the early postpartum period and less than half are still breastfeeding their infant at six months of age. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of breastfeeding interventions on breastfeeding rates in Kansas. Fifteen public health departments agreed to participate in this research. Women who had a live birth between July 1, 2010, and April 30, 2012, were eligible to participate. The Breastfeeding Initiative Evaluation Survey was designed and consisted of selected items from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System survey and additional items to investigate program impact. Two multiple regression analyses were conducted to assess predictors related to length of breastfeeding. One used demographics and the other used types of breastfeeding services as predictors of breastfeeding duration. The linear combination of demographic predictor variables was significantly related to duration, F(5,112) = 30.41, p < 0.01, R2 = 0.59, adjusted R2 = 0.57. The linear combination of types of service predictor variables was also significantly related to duration, F(6,77) = 6.82, p < 0.01, R2 = 0.37, adjusted R2 = 0.31. From a public health perspective, it is important that infants are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. This study demonstrates that the introduction of other liquids and solid food negatively influences breastfeeding duration. Additionally, the services from a breastfeeding educator and availability of breastfeeding equipment are critical in the success of breastfeeding interventions. This study's findings can be used to enhance breastfeeding services and their delivery.