Breastfeeding Difficulties and Exclusivity Among Late Preterm and Term Infants: Results From the All Our Babies Study

Tharsiya Nagulesapillai, Sheila W. McDonald, Tanis R. Fenton, Hannah Faye G. Mercader, Suzanne C. Tough


OBJECTIVE: To compare breastfeeding difficulties attributable to the baby and mother/milk and exclusive breastfeeding between a group of late preterm (LP) infants and term infants.

METHODS: We utilized data from a prospective community-based cohort (n=2977) in Calgary, Alberta, and performed bivariate and multivariable analyses to identify demographic, obstetric, maternal and infant health indicators that were independently associated with term status and breastfeeding outcomes.

RESULTS: Multivariable analyses found that LP status was an independent risk factor for breastfeeding difficulties attributable to the baby (OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.24-2.38), but not for difficulties due to mother/milk (defined as not producing enough milk or having flat or inverted nipples). Among women who were breastfeeding at hospital discharge, mothers of LP infants were less likely to report exclusive breastfeeding at 4 months (OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.46-0.97), after controlling for household income level, mode of delivery and postpartum maternal physical health.

CONCLUSIONS: Mothers of LP infants need increased support to establish successful breastfeeding outcomes and to ensure that these infants receive the full benefits of breast milk.


Breastfeeding; infant, preterm; epidemiology

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