Local Disparities in Breastfeeding Initiation and Duration: A Cross-Sectional Population-Based Survey in Ten Chicago Community Areas

  • Michelle M. HughesEmail author
  • Nazia S. Saiyed
  • Pamela T. Roesch
  • Lisa Masinter
  • Ashima Sarup
Original Paper


Breastfeeding confers substantial health benefits to women and infants. While disparities in breastfeeding persist in the United States, the extent of these disparities at the local level is unclear. This study aimed to identify local level and racial/ethnic breastfeeding disparities within Chicago. A community-based representative survey including questions on breastfeeding was conducted in Chicago. We estimated the proportion of women who breastfed their last child for any length of time and who breastfed at 6 months by neighborhood and maternal characteristics. We performed Rao-Scott corrected chi-squared tests to analyze factors hypothesized to be associated with breastfeeding. Between March 2015 and September 2016, 641 women with at least one live birth completed the survey. We found no differences by community area in the breastfeeding initiation or breastfeeding for at least 6 months. Puerto Rican women had the lowest prevalence of breastfeeding initiation and continuation at 6 months in contrast to Mexican women who reported the highest prevalence of these practices. We found breastfeeding disparities between Puerto Rican and Mexican Hispanic subgroups. Policies and programs aimed at increasing breastfeeding should prioritize groups that are least likely to initiate breastfeeding or most likely to breastfeed for a limited duration.


Breastfeeding Epidemiology Disparities Race/ethnicity Survey 



This work was supported by the Chicago Community Trust (Grant Numbers C2013-00630, C2014-01723, C2015-04294).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 60 KB)
10900_2018_597_MOESM2_ESM.docx (76 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 76 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sinai Urban Health InstituteSinai Health SystemChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Chicago Medical SchoolRosalind Franklin University of Medicine and ScienceNorth ChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Bureau of Maternal, Infant, Child, and Adolescent HealthChicago Department of Public HealthChicagoUSA

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