Interaction of factors related to lactation duration

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Boettcher, Joan
Chezem, Jo Carol
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Thesis (M.S.)
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
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The national health promotion goals for increasing breastfeeding initiation rates to at least 75% of all mothers and six month breastfeeding continuation rates of at least 50% by the year 2000 do not seem to be obtainable. These goals require new insight into what motivates a new mother to continue to breastfeed. This study identified perceived social support and interpersonal dependency as potential factors associated to lactation duration, based upon the previous breastfeeding experience of the mother. Inexperienced breastfeeding mothers perceived more total support, task support and informational support than mothers with previous breastfeeding experience. This study did not correlate the amount of perceived support to lactation duration. An ancillary finding was that women providing a combination of breast milk and artificial baby milk feeds had a significantly higher lack of social self-confidence than mothers providing breastmilk exclusively.