Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Katie Callahan


The natural practice of breastfeeding has been strongly noted as one of the most cost-effective, health promoting, disease-prevention strategies of the 21st century. Although primary health organizations recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life with added complementary foods and continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or longer, many mothers do not breastfeed their infants for the recommendation length of time. Applied policies and health practices, such as those described under the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and The International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes, have been noted as contributing factors that can considerably impact the manner which women choose to feed their infants. A cross-sectional methodology assessed associations between maternity health practices and breastfeeding duration among women birthing in the United States. A secondary data analysis of the Infant Feeding Practice Study II and its Year 6 Follow-Up was conducted using IBM SPSS Statistics Version 24. Procedures for data analysis included frequencies, Ï?2 tests, and ordinal logistic regressions. Outcomes revealed that feeding infants any formula during their hospital stay drastically reduces the likelihood for prolonged breastfeeding duration. Study results also concluded that offering a pacifier to infants during their hospital stay reduced the length of breastfeeding duration. This study confirms many of the primary breastfeeding practices that are at the frontline of maternity patient care in the United States. Establishing well-grounded practices that aid in the long-term duration of breastfeeding could help save lives and improve child and maternal health outcomes within the United States.