An Analysis of Breastfeeding Initiation in Tasmania by Demographic and Socioeconomic Factors for Period 1981-1995
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Breastfeeding initiation and duration trend data is an important component of infant health and nutrition monitoring and surveillance systems. It is also an important basis for identifying breastfeeding promotion needs, prioritising target groups and strategies and in evaluating the effectiveness of breastfeeding promotion efforts. A collation and analysis of available Tasmanian breastfeeding initiation data was undertaken in order to help direct statewide breastfeeding promotion planning and evaluation and to begin the development of a minimum data set for statewide breastfeeding monitoring and surveillance. Perinatally collected breastfeeding initiation data (breastfeeding at discharge from hospital) was analysed against available demographic and socioeconomic variables and compared with initiation rates from interstate Australian populations. Data suggest that breastfeeding initiation rates in Tasmania have been static over the 15 years to 1995 (a three percent increase from 1981 to 1995) and that the associations between breastfeeding initiation and occupational classification, maternal age and parity in Tasmania are consistent with those reported elsewere. Whilst caution needs to be applied to between- population comparisons, breastfeeding initiation rates in Tasmania appear to be considerably lower than that reported in other states. This suggests relatively greater efforts are required to influence breastfeeding initiation. Further research is required to investigate reasons for this difference.
© 1999 Australian Breastfeeding Association. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.