2006 Volume 16 Issue 2 Pages 57-63
BACKGROUND: Benefits of breast-feeding are not only limited to nutrition and sanitation in developing countries but also extend to cost-saving health care and alleviation of anxiety related to childrearing in developed countries. This study aims to elucidate factors associated with exclusive breast-feeding in Japan and use this information to achieve child-rearing support worldwide by promoting breast-feeding.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study used data from a survey conducted by Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of the Japanese government, the First Longitudinal Survey of Babies in 21st Century. All subjects were infants (n = 53,575) born in Japan in 2001 between January 10 and 17 and between July 10 and 17. According to the data, the exclusive breast-feeding rate in Japan during the first 6 months of life was 21.0%. We examined the factors associated with exclusive breast-feeding using univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses.
RESULTS: Among the factors examined, the adjusted odds ratio (OR) for exclusive breast-feeding was low for late childbearing, low birth weight infants, multiple births, smoking parents, living with grandparents, and feeling burdened by childrearing. The adjusted OR was high for factors that included sufficient childcare leave and consultation about childrearing with the spouse, a birth attendant and/or nurse, and a peer in a child-rearing circle.
CONCLUSIONS: Exclusive breast-feeding is associated not only with medical factors but also with social factors. This study clarifies the necessity of social support to reduce the child rearing burden and a political system to promote paternal participation in childrearing and to improve the childcare leave system.
J Epidemiol 2006; 16: 57-63.