Date: 06 Jun 2014

Intention to Breastfeed as a Predictor of Initiation of Exclusive Breastfeeding in Hispanic Women

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Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) is the most efficacious form of infant feeding and nutrition. Hispanic mothers in the US are more likely than mothers of other racial/ethnic groups to supplement with formula in the first 2 days of life. The purpose of this study was to explore infant feeding intentions during the prenatal period as a predictor of EBF at postpartum discharge in a sample of Hispanic women (n = 99). At discharge, 51 % of the women were EBF, 44 % were breastfeeding and supplementing with formula, and 5 % were feeding only formula. Intention to breastfeed was found to be a strong and potentially modifiable predictor of breastfeeding behavior, showing a significant association with EBF upon discharge from the hospital after birth when linked with acceptance of pregnancy and method of delivery. Prenatal care offers a unique opportunity to enhance intentions to breastfeed that may lead to improved EBF in this health vulnerable population.