Feeding modes, duration, and diarrhea in infancy: Continued evidence of the protective effects of breastfeeding

Ana F. Diallo, Kelly McGlothen-Bell, Ruth Lucas, Stephen Walsh, Carolyn Allen, Wendy A. Henderson, Xiaomei Cong, Jacqueline McGrath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of early breastfeeding cessation on incidence of diarrhea in a cohort of U.S. infants. Design, Sample, and Measurements: A secondary data analysis was conducted using data from 2,340 mother–infant dyads participating in the Infant Feeding Practices Study II. We examined associations between duration of feeding type (e.g., exclusive breastfeeding [EBF], any breastfeeding [BF], formula feeding) and incidence of diarrhea before one year. Results: The sample included mother–infant dyads that were 86.2% White, 3% Black, and 5% Hispanic. Interruption of EBF before 3 months was significantly associated with higher odds of having diarrhea at 6 months (OR = 1.80, p value ≤ 0.01) and between 6 and 12 months (OR = 1.45, p ≤.01). Breastfeeding interruption before 6 months was associated with higher odds of having diarrhea at 6 months (OR = 3.19, p ≤.01). Formula feeding for ≥3 months was associated with higher odds of diarrhea between 6 and 12 months. Conclusions: Exclusive breastfeeding for 3 months accompanied by any breastfeeding for 6 months provided the most protective effect against diarrhea. Public health interventions should address disparities in breastfeeding practices and provide support across clinical, workplace and community settings. Research should include more diverse population groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-160
Number of pages6
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Keywords

  • breastfeeding
  • breastfeeding duration
  • diarrhea
  • exclusive breastfeeding
  • formula feeding
  • infant feeding
  • infectious diseases
  • optimal breastfeeding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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