Infant Formula Feeding at Birth Is Common and Inversely Associated with Subsequent Breastfeeding Behavior in Vietnam1-3

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Abstract

Background:

The association between infant formula feeding at birth and subsequent feeding patterns in a low- or middleincome context is not clear.

Objective:

We examined the association of infant formula feeding during the first 3 d after birth with subsequent infant formula feeding and early breastfeeding cessation in Vietnam.

Methods:

In a cross-sectional survey, we interviewed 10,681 mothers with children aged 0-23 mo (mean age: 8.2 mo; 52% boys) about their feeding practices during the first 3 d after birth and on the previous day. We used stratified analysis, multiple logistic regression, propensity score-matching analysis, and structural equation modeling to minimize the limitation of the cross-sectional design and to ensure the consistency of the findings.

Results:

Infant formula feeding during the first 3 d after birth (50%) was associated with a higher prevalence of subsequent infant formula feeding [stratified analysis: 7-28% higher (nonoverlapping 95% CIs for most comparisons); propensity score-matching analysis: 13% higher (P < 0.001); multiple logistic regression: OR: 1.47 (95% CI: 1.30, 1.67)]. This practice was also associated with a higher prevalence of early breastfeeding cessation (e.g., <24 mo) [propensity score-matching analysis: 2% (P = 0.08); OR: 1.33 (95% CI: 1.12, 1.59)]. Structural equation modeling showed that infant formula feeding during the first 3 d after birth was associated with a higher prevalence of subsequent infant formula feeding (β: 0.244; P < 0.001), which in turn was linked to early breastfeeding cessation (β: 0.285; P < 0.001).

Conclusions:

Infant formula feeding during the first 3 d after birth was associated with increased subsequent infant formula feeding and the early cessation of breastfeeding, which underscores the need to make early, exclusive breastfeeding normative and to create environments that support it.

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