Low-income women breastfeed longer if they receive a recommendation from the child’s doctor to “breastfeed only.” However, maternal reports of this recommendation vary by mothers’ racial and ethnic characteristics. These findings are available in a new article, coauthored by Westat researchers Christine Borger, Ph.D., Brenda Sun, M.S., and Laurie May, Ph.D., that appears in Breastfeeding Medicine: Prenatal and Postnatal Experiences Predict Breastfeeding Patterns in the WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study-2.
“The article highlights the need for reducing structural barriers to breastfeeding in the early post-natal period, including increasing physician awareness of their important role in supporting all low-income women,” says Dr. Borger, the lead author.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) partnered with Westat to explore how and what low-income women feed their young children. To do this, Westat is running the WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study-2 (WIC ITFPS-2), a nationally representative, longitudinal study collecting dietary data on a cohort of children at select time points between birth and age 9 years.