The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age. Maternal attitudes toward infant feeding are correlated with chosen feeding method and breastfeeding duration. The Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale (IIFAS) has been used to assess attitudes towards breastfeeding prenatally and is predictive of breastfeeding decisions in certain population groups.
In a cohort of pregnant Latina women recruited from two hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area (n=185), we administered the IIFAS prior to delivery. Information regarding feeding choice, maternal sociodemographic information, and anthropometrics were collected at 6 months and 1 year postpartum. Analysis of predictors for breastfeeding initiation, breastfeeding at 6 and 12 months and exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months were evaluated using multivariate logistic regression adjusting for potential confounders.
In our cohort of Latina mothers, breastfeeding a previous infant was associated with breastfeeding initiation (OR 8.29 [95% CI 1.00, 68.40] p = 0.05) and breastfeeding at 6 months (OR 18.34 [95% CI 2.01, 167.24] p = 0.01). College education was associated with increased exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months (OR 58.67 [95% CI 4.97, 692.08] p = 0.001) and having other children was associated with reduced breastfeeding at six months (OR 0.08 [95% CI 0.01, 0.70] p = 0.02). A higher IIFAS score was not associated with breastfeeding initiation, breastfeeding at 6 or 12 months or exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months of age.
Initial choices about breastfeeding will likely influence future breastfeeding decisions, so breastfeeding interventions should specifically target new mothers. Mothers with other children also need additional encouragement to maintain breastfeeding until 6 months of age. The IIFAS, while predictive of breastfeeding decisions in other population groups, was not associated with feeding decisions in our population of Latina mothers.