RATES AND DETERMINANTS OF BREASTFEEDING EXCLUSIVITY AND DURATION IN NOVA SCOTIA WOMEN
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This population-based retrospective cohort study describes breastfeeding patterns and identifies the determinants of longer exclusive breastfeeding among 4,533 mother-infants pairs in two regions of Nova Scotia, Canada between 2006 and 2009. Multivariate logistic and proportional hazard regression analyses were used to model breastfeeding practices. While 64.1% (95% CI=62.7-65.5) of mothers initiated breastfeeding, only 10.4% (9.5-11.4) of mothers exclusively breastfed for the recommended six months; 21% (19.7-22.3) of mothers continued to breastfeed at six months, but not exclusively. Six risk factors are independently associated with poorer breastfeeding practices: lower maternal education, no partner, higher pre-pregnancy body mass index, smoking during pregnancy, no breast contact between dyads within one hour of birth, and no intention of breastfeeding. Rates of exclusive breastfeeding remain lower in these districts than elsewhere in Canada. Understanding determinants of longer exclusive breastfeeding is critical to assist policy makers and health care providers in better supporting mothers and newborns.