Breastfeeding Twins: Factors Related to Weaning

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Abstract

Background:

Many factors may influence a woman’s decision to start and maintain breastfeeding.

Research aim:

This study aimed to investigate the factors associated with breastfeeding cessation in twin infants during the first 6 months after birth and to describe the main reasons for weaning cited by mothers of twins.

Methods:

This is a secondary data analysis of a prospective randomized trial conducted in Brazil. Data were obtained through longitudinal quantitative and qualitative self-reported interviews. One hundred twenty-eight women pregnant with twins and their 256 infants were followed for up to approximately 6 months, during which time breastfeeding data were obtained through face-to-face interviews at three different points after birth: 30 to 40 days (Time 1), 90 days (Time 2), and 180 days (Time 3). The association between weaning and the investigated factors was examined using survival analysis methodologies.

Results:

Nonexclusive breastfeeding (p = .004, Cox proportional hazards regression model), a lack of support during the lactation period (p = .001), difficulty breastfeeding (p = .003), a breastfeeding duration shorter than 12 months in a previous pregnancy (p = .001), and infants’ birth weight less than 2,300 g (p < .001) were the factors associated with breastfeeding cessation. The main reasons for weaning cited by mothers of twins were insufficient human milk supply, infants’ behavior, and returning to work.

Conclusion:

We have identified the factors associated with weaning in twin infants during the first 180 days of life. This knowledge can help improve strategies to increase breastfeeding rates in twins.

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