Navarro Estrella ManuelMama
Duque Lopez María Ximena
Trejo Perez Juan Antonio

OBJECTIVE:To identify the maternal, work, and health services factors associated with a short duration of breast-feeding in working mothers.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out between November 1998 and March 1999, among 265 mothers medically insured by (Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, IMSS) Mexican Institute of Social Security, who completed a questionnaire when their babies were 3 to 9 months old. Mothers were divided into two groups, based on breast-feeding duration: those who breast-fed for less than 3 months and those who did so for three months or more. Logistic regression was used to identify the factors associated with short duration of breast-feeding.

RESULTS: One-hundred and twelve mothers (42.3%) abandoned breast-feeding early. Risk factors were: poor maternal knowledge on breast-feeding, odds ratio (OR) 5.97, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.67-20.67; mothers with no previous breast-feeding experience OR 2.98, 95% CI 1.66-5.36; mothers planning to breast-feed their babies for less than 3 months (OR 16.24, 95% CI 5.37-49.12); and mothers with no access to breast-feeding facilities at work (OR 1.99, 95% CI 1.12-3.56).

CONCLUSIONS: The main factors associated with short duration of breast-feeding were the maternal ones. The only work-related factor associated with short duration of breast-feeding was the absence of breast-feeding facilities. It is probable that maternal knowledge on breast-feeding, previous breast-feeding experience, and the availability of facilities at work for breast-feeding affect the maternal decisions on breast-feeding duration.