Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Pregnancy



DOI of Original Publication



Originally published at

Date of Submission

April 2018


Introduction. Healthcare providers play an integral role in breastfeeding education and subsequent practices; however, the education and support provided to patients may differ by type of provider. The current study aims to evaluate the association between type of birth attendant and breastfeeding duration. Methods. Data from the prospective longitudinal study, Infant Feeding Practices Survey II, was analyzed. Breastfeeding duration and exclusive breastfeeding duration were defined using the American Academy of Pediatrics’ national recommendations. Type of birth attendant was categorized into obstetricians, other physicians, and midwife or nurse midwife. If mothers received prenatal care from a different type of provider than the birth attendant, they were excluded from the analysis. Multinomial logistic regression was conducted to obtain crude and adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Results. Compared to mothers whose births were attended by an obstetrician, mothers with a family doctor or midwife were twice as likely to breastfeed at least six months. Similarly, mothers with a midwife birth attendant were three times as likely to exclusively breastfeed less than six months and six times more likely to exclusively breastfeed at least six months compared to those who had an obstetrician birth attendant. Conclusions. Findings from the current study highlight the importance of birth attendants in breastfeeding decisions. Interventions are needed to overcome barriers physicians encounter while providing breastfeeding support and education. However, this study is limited by several confounding factors that have not been controlled for as well as by the self-selection of the population.


Copyright © 2018 Jordyn T. Wallenborn and Saba W. Masho. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Is Part Of

VCU Family Medicine and Population Health Publications