Objectives: The objectives of this survey were to investigate maternal choices to initiate or preserve exclusive breastfeeding and to map out the main domains of problems with feeding in infants in a population of mothers who presented their infant for chiropractic care.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey of parents who presented their infants to a chiropractic teaching clinic. Each form was coded with a number and data entered into an Excel spread sheet. Two main software packages were used to analyze data; Microsoft Excel 2000 spreadsheet/SPSS-17 and GraphPad Instat Statistical analysis software.
Results: In all, 1753 surveys were collected. Most mothers (88%) initiated breastfeeding. The mean age when mothers stopped breastfeeding was 3 weeks (SD=5.5). Among women who stopped breastfeeding (n=502), 197(39%) had routine vaginal births and 305 (61%) had assisted births. There was no statistically significant correlation between type of birth and feeding. There was a significant correlation (0.048) between when the mothers stopped breastfeeding and the lack of satisfaction with the breastfeeding experience. Of those mothers who stopped breastfeeding, mothers who planned to breastfeed while pregnant, breastfed for twice as long compared to the women who did not plan to breastfeed (p =.005).
Conclusion: This population was representative of the UK population in that breastfeeding initiation rate was high and there was also significant early discontinuation. Further study is required to determine which factors might work toward helping new mothers continue in order to support public health initiatives to improve the health of mother and infant.
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