Journal article 224 views 10 downloads
Breastfeeding initiation and duration through the COVID-19 pandemic, a linked population-level routine data study: the Born in Wales Cohort 2018–2021
BMJ Paediatrics Open, Volume: 7, Issue: 1, Start page: e001907
PDF | Version of Record
© Author(s) 2023. Distributed under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence (CC BY 4.0).Download (420.03KB)
Objectives: The WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. This study aimed to examine the impact the pandemic had on breastfeeding uptake and duration, and whether intention to breastfeed is associated with longer duration of exclusive breastfeeding. Methods: A cohort st...
|Published in:||BMJ Paediatrics Open|
Check full text
No Tags, Be the first to tag this record!
Objectives: The WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. This study aimed to examine the impact the pandemic had on breastfeeding uptake and duration, and whether intention to breastfeed is associated with longer duration of exclusive breastfeeding. Methods: A cohort study using routinely collected, linked healthcare data from the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage databank. All women who gave birth in Wales between 2018 and 2021 recorded in the Maternal Indicators dataset were asked about intention to breastfeed. These data were linked with the National Community Child Health Births and Breastfeeding dataset to examine breastfeeding rates. Results: Intention to breastfeed was associated with being 27.6 times more likely to continue to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months compared with those who did not intend to breastfeed (OR 27.6, 95% CI 24.9 to 30.7). Breastfeeding rates at 6 months were 16.6% prepandemic and 20.5% in 2020. When compared with a survey population, the initial intention to breastfeed/not breastfeed only changes for about 10% of women. Conclusion: Women were more likely to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months during the pandemic compared with before or after the pandemic. Arguably, interventions which enable families to spend more time with their baby such as maternal and paternal leave may help improve breastfeeding duration. The biggest predictor of breastfeeding at 6 months was intention to breastfeed. Therefore, targeted interventions during pregnancy to encourage motivation to breastfeed could improve duration of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding, COVID-19 pandemic, data study, Born in Wales Cohort
Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
Swansea University. This work is funded by the National Centre for Population Health and Wellbeing Research (grant number AMS103836) and the National Core Studies funded by the Medical Research Council (grant number MC_PC_20030).