Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 82, Issue 2, pp 198–206

Increasing breastfeeding rates in New York City, 1980–2000

  • Melanie Besculides
  • Karine Grigoryan
  • Fabienne Laraque
Article

Abstract

Our objective was to determine temporal patterns of breastfeeding among women delivering infants in New York City (NYC) and compare national breastfeeding trends. All hospitals in NYC with obstetric units were contacted in May and June 2000 to provide information on the method of infant feeding during the mother’s admission for delivery. Feeding was categorized as “exclusive breastfeeding,” “breast and formula,” or “exclusive formula.” The first two categories were further grouped into “any breastfeeding” in the analysis. Hospitals were classified as “public” and “private,” and patients were classified by insurance type as “service” and “private.” Data between public and private hospitals and service and private patients were compared. Breastfeeding trends over time were compared by using previous iterations of the same survey. Of 16,932 newborns, representing approximately 80.0% of all reported live births in the city during the study period, 5,305 (31.3%) were exclusively breastfed, 6,189 (36.6%) were fed a combination of breast milk and formula, and the remaining 5,438 (32.1%) were exclusively formula-fed. Infants born in private hospitals were 1.6 times more likely to be exclusively breastfed compared with infants discharged from public hospitals (33% vs. 21%, respectively). Similarly, private patients were more likely than service patients to exclusively breastfeed their infants (39.6% vs. 22.9%, respectively) and to use a combination of breast and formula (i.e., any breastfeeding) (73.6% vs. 62.0%, respectively). From 1980 to 2000, the proportion of exclusive breastfeeding increased from 25.0% to 31.0%, the percentage of combined feeding increased from 8.0% to 37.0%, and the percentage of any breastfeeding increased from 33.0% to 68.0%. NYC has more than doubled the rate of breastfeeding since 1980. However, there is much progress to be made, and continued efforts are vital to maintain current gains in breastfeeding, improve the rates further, and prolong the duration of breastfeeding.

Keywords

Breastfeeding Breastfeeding initiation Breastfeeding trends Improving breastfeeding 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Kasla RR, Bavdekar SB, Joshi SY, Hathi GS. Exclusive breastfeeding: protective efficacy. Indian J Pediatr. 1995;62:449–453.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Orlando S. The immunologic significance of breast milk. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 1995;24:678–683.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Howie PW, Forsyth JS, Ogston SA, Clark A, Florey CD. Protective effect of breastfeeding against infection. BMJ. 1990;300:11–16.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Pisacane A, Graziano L, Mazzarella G, Scarpellino B, Zona G. Breast-feeding and urinary tract infection. J Pediatr. 1992;120:87–89.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Silfverdal SA, Bodin L, Huggosson S, et al. Protective effect of breastfeeding on invasive Haemophilus influenzae infection: a case-control study in Swedish preschool children. Int J Epidemiol. 1997;26:443–450.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Nafstad P, Jaakkola JJ, Hagen JA, Botten G, Kongerud J. Breastfeeding, maternal smoking and lower respiratory tract infections. Eur Respir J. 1996;9:2623–2629.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Wang YS, Shi YW. The effect of exclusive breastfeeding on development and incidence of infection in infants. J Hum Lact. 1996;12:27–30.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Wright AL, Bauer M, Maylor A, Sutcliffe E, Clark L. Increasing breastfeeding rates to reduce infant illness at the community level. Pediatrics. 1998;101:837–844.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bass SM, Groer MW. Relationship of breastfeeding and formula-feeding practices with infant health outcomes in an urban poor population. J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 1997;11:1–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ashraf RN, Jalil F, Zaman S, et al. Breastfeeding and protection against neonatal sepsis in a high-risk population. Arch Dis Child. 1991;66:488–490.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kalliomaki M, Ouwehand A, Arvilommi H, Kero P, Isolauri E. Transforming growth factor-β in breast milk: a potential regulator of atopic disease at an early age. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1999;125:1–7.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Halken S, Host A, Hansen LG, Osterballe O. Effect of an allergy prevention programme on incidence of atopic symptoms in infancy: a prospective study of 159 “high risk” infants. Allergy. 1992;47:545–553.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ford RP, Taylor BJ, Mitchell EA, et al. Breastfeeding and the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Int J Epidemiol. 1993;22:885–890.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mayer EJ, Hamman RF, Gay EC, Lezotte DC, Savitz DA, Klingesmith GJ. Reduced risk of IDDM among breast-fed children. The Colorado IDDM Registry. Diabetes. 1988;37:1625–1632.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Davis MK, Savitz DA, Graubard BI. Infant feeding and childhood cancer. Lancet. 1988;2:365–368.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Shu XO, Linet MS, Steinbuch M, et al. Breast-feeding and risk of childhood acute leukemia. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1999;91:1765–1772.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hediger ML, Overpack MD, Kuczmarski RJ, Ruan WJ. Association between infant breastfeeding and overweight in young children. JAMA. 2001;285:2453–2460.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Oddy WH. Breastfeeding and asthma in children: findings from a West Australian study. Breastfeed Rev. 2000;8:5–11.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Gwinn ML, Lee NC, Rhodes PH, Layde PM, Rubin GL. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, and oral contraceptives and the risk of epithelial ovarian cancer. J Clin Epidemiol. 1990;43:559–568.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Rosenblatt KA, Thomas DB. Prolonged lactation and endometrial cancer. Int J Epidemiol. 1995;24:499–503.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Newcomb PA, Storer BE, Longnecker MP, et al. Lactation and a reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer. N Engl J Med. 1994;330:81–87.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Chua S, Arulkumaran S, Lim I, Selamat N, Ratnam SS. Influence of breastfeeding and nipple stimulation on postpartum uterine activity. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1994;10:804–805.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Dewey KG, Heinig MJ, Nommsen LA. Maternal weight-loss patterns during prolonged lactation. Am J Clin Nutr. 1993;58:162–166.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    New York State Code in Support of Breastfeeding (1984). Chapter V, subchapter A, article 2, part 405 Hospitals Minimum Standards, section 405.8.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    New York State Department of Health. Section 405.21—Maternity and newborn services. Available at: http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/phforum/nycrr10.htm. Accessed April 13, 2005.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ahluwalia IB, Morrow B, Hsia J, Grummer-Strawn LM. Who is breastfeeding? Recent trends from the pregnancy risk assessment and monitoring system. J Pediatr. 2003;142:486–491.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Briefel RR, Reidy K, Karwe V, Devaney B. Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study: improvements needed in meeting infant feeding recommendations. J AM Diet Assoc. 2004; 104:S31-S37.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Public Health Service. Healthy People 2000: national health promotion and disease prevention objectives: full report, with commentary Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service; 1991. DHHS publication, No. 91-50212.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Healthy People 2010 objectives for the nation. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/policy-hp2010.htm. Accessed April 13, 2005.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Bruce NG, Khan Z, Olsen ND. Hospital and other influences on the uptake and maintenance of breastfeeding: the development of infant feeding policy in a district. Public Health. 1991;105:357–368.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Samuels SE, Margen S, Schoen EJ. Incidence and duration of breastfeeding in a health maintenance organization population. Am J Clin Nutr. 1985;42:504–510.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    American Academy of Pediatrics Work Group on Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding and the use of human milk. Pediatrics. 1997;100:1035–1039.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Ahluwalia IB, Tessaro I, Grummer-Strawn LM, MacGowan C, Benton-Davis S. Georgia’s breastfeeding promotion program for low-income women. Pediatrics. 2000;105:E85.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Howard C, Howard F, Lawrence R, Andresen E, DeBlieck E, Weitzman M. Office prenatal formula advertising and its effect on breast-feeding patterns. Obstet Gynecol. 2000;5:296–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Oxford University Press on behalf of the New York Academy of Medicine 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melanie Besculides
    • 1
  • Karine Grigoryan
    • 1
  • Fabienne Laraque
    • 1
  1. 1.Office of Family HealthNew York City Department of Health and Mental HygieneNew York
  2. 2.MPH Bureau of TuberculosisNew York City Department of Health and Mental HygieneNew York

Personalised recommendations