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The effect of gestation on initiation and duration of breastfeeding
  1. Susan M Donath (susan.donath{at}
  1. Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Australia
    1. Lisa H Amir (l.amir{at}
    1. La Trobe University, Australia


      Objectives: The aim of this paper is to investigate the effect of gestation on initiation and duration of breastfeeding in Australian infants.

      Methods: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children recruited a national sample of children born between March 2003 and February 2004 (n = 3,600 in this multivariate sample).

      Results: Breastfeeding initiation was lower for infants of 35-36 weeks gestation (88.2%) than 37-39 weeks (92.0%) and ≥40 weeks (93.9%). At six months, 41.2% of infants 35-36 weeks gestation were breastfeeding compared to 54.5% of 37-39 week gestation infants and 60.5% of infants born ≥40 weeks. Compared to infants born ≥40 weeks, 35-36 week infants had an adjusted odds of 0.51 (95%CI, 0.34, 0.76) and 37-39 week infants had an adjusted OR 0.80 (95%CI 0.69, 0.93) of breastfeeding at six months.

      Conclusion: Infants born before 40 weeks are at greater risk of being artificially fed than infants born ≥ 40 weeks.

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