Analyzing Factors That Impact Breastfeeding Duration in the Postpartum Period: A Secondary Analysis of PRAMS Data

Lea Pounds, Valerie Shostrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: Benefits of breastfeeding are well established. What is more, breastfeeding is associated with lower healthcare costs. More U.S. hospitals are adopting the World Health Organization's Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding; however, most hospitals fall short on key factors. Objective: To our knowledge, this project is the first of its kind to use national-level data and a complex statistical modeling approach to identify a more complete picture of the variables related to breastfeeding duration within the postpartum period. Methods: This secondary data analysis project used the Phase 7 Core PRAMS Research File (2012-2013) and the Standard Questions B1, B2, B3, and B4 variables in the statistical analysis. The outcome variable of interest was length of breastfeeding during the postpartum period. The postpartum period was defined as 8 weeks after delivery rather than the usual definition of 6 weeks to accommodate the way quit time is reported in the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) data. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted using PC SAS version 9.4. Results: The multivariate analysis indicates that many of the modifiable factors associated with quitting breastfeeding within the postpartum period are hospital related. This pilot study reinforces the importance of 7 of the 10 Steps. Conclusions: These results underscore the importance of hospitals adopting evidence-based best practices for breastfeeding. The relationship found between Women, Infants, and Children receiving supplemental nutrition benefits and breastfeeding quit times requires further exploration. The study results also highlight the need to address modifiable factors that may be overlooked in traditional breastfeeding promotion efforts, such as depression and alcohol use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-340
Number of pages6
JournalBreastfeeding Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • baby-friendly
  • breastfeeding
  • breastfeeding duration
  • hospital breastfeeding best practices
  • postpartum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Health Policy
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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