Does socioeconomic status affect women's decisions not to continue breastfeeding?
A new study has shown that among women who intended to breastfeed, nearly 25% of those defined as socioeconomically (SE) marginalized stopped after only 1 month, compared to about 7% of the women in the SE privileged group. Interestingly, the reasons for early cessation of breastfeeding differed between the two groups, as reported in Health Equity.
According to Julia Temple Newhook, Memorial University of St. John's, Canada and coauthors from Janeway Children's Health and Rehabilitation Centre and the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information, St. John's, only women's attitudes about breastfeeding determined the decision to stop the practice early among the SE privileged group. In contrast, the researchers identified three different and significant factors that determined early breastfeeding cessation among the SE marginalized women. These included less than 1 hour of skin-to-skin contact after birth. This and the other factors could be targets for interventions aimed at improving breastfeeding rates and experiences.
The researchers report their findings in the article entitled "Poverty and Breastfeeding: Comparing Determinants of Early Breastfeeding Cessation Incidence in Socioeconomically Marginalized and Privileged Populations in the FiNaL Study."
"Are we missing opportunities to overcome breastfeeding barriers for vulnerable women? This article expands our discussion as we search for solutions," says Health Equity Editor-in-Chief Ana E. Núñez, MD, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Professor of Medicine, Drexel University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA.