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Table 1 Factors associated with the duration of breastfeeding, stratified by consistency of reports

From: Factors associated with breastfeeding at six months postpartum in a group of Australian women

Factors Consistent associations reported in the literature Associations reported in the literature but not found consistently
  Positive association – breastfeeding duration Negative or no association – breastfeeding duration Positive association – breastfeeding duration Negative or no association – breastfeeding duration
Maternal & social factors Intention to breastfeed [5, 6-15] Higher body mass index [27, 46, 47] Having a previous child/children [21, 23] Previous infant feeding method (no association) [9]
  Earlier timing of decision to breastfeed [7, 9, 16-18]   Having a previous baby increased planned duration [6] Breastfeeding confidence (no association) [7]
  Increasing age [8, 9, 11-13, 15, 18-23]   The better the previous breastfeeding experience, the more positive association with subsequent breastfeeding duration [14, 23] Lower income [48]
  Higher education [7, 9, 11, 14, 19, 21, 24-26]   Breastfeeding confidence [6, 8, 10, 14, 22, 32, 49] A view that the feeding method makes no difference to the baby's health [42]
  Not smoking [19, 21, 23, 27-30] or smoking less [25]   Higher social class [50, 51] More positive attitude to bottle feeding [11]
  Being married [21] or not being single [22]   Higher income [20] Employment plans (no association) [9, 11, 12]
    Higher socioeconomic status [2] Returning to work [22]
    Maternal attitude to infant feeding [24] or negative attitude to formula feeding [7] Parity (no association) [20]
    Having been breastfed oneself [42] Perception of lack of support for breastfeeding [6]
    Attendance at childbirth education classes [9]  
    Partner's perceived preference for breastfeeding [12, 22, 42, 52]  
    Breastfeeding knowledge [53]  
Hospital practices & obstetric factors   Early postnatal discharge (no association) [5, 23, 55, 56] Earlier breastfeeding initiation [7,10, 18, 32, 57, 58] Caesarean section [9]
   Early postnatal discharge [59] Rooming-in [12, 32, 60] Birth type (no association) [7, 61]
   Commercial discharge packs (but effect more on exclusivity) [62] Early skin-to-skin contact [63, 64] Early infant to breast contact (no association) [12]
    Breastfeeding encouragement from a health professional [22] Use of formula during the postnatal hospital stay [26, 65] (but not associated in earlier meta-analysis [64])
Other potential influences   Introduction of solids with continued breastfeeding (no association) [66] Mastitis [15] Breastfeeding problems such as sore and cracked nipples (no association) [7]
   Introduction of formula [10, 15, 58, 66]   Early breastfeeding problems [22]
     Inverted nipples [15]
    Infant birth weight >2500 g [21] Lower infant birth weight [23]
     Infant birth weight (no association) [9]
     Male infant [12]
     Admission to special care nursery [12]
     Use of dummies (pacifiers) [15, 25, 26]
     Use of dummies (pacifiers) (no association) [67]