Perceived insufficient milk supply in New Zealand mothers during the first-year postpartum : this thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

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Background:  Mothers  rarely  achieve  breastfeeding  (BF)  recommendations  and  there  are  numerous reasons that may lead to early cessation. However, insufficient milk supply is a frequently reported cause. Current research on perceived insufficient milk supply (PIM) itself is limited.  Numerous  factors  are  suggested  to  play  a  part  in  the  occurrence  of  PIM,  including:  demographic, psychological as well as feeding practices and management factors. Aim. To determine  the  factors  associated  with  PIM  and  the  impact  that  this  has  on  BF  practices.  Methods: Secondary analysis of the data collected from Manawatu Mother and Baby Study. Sixty-­one  women  were  included.  Interviews  about  maternal  demographics,  obstetric  characteristics and BF practices were conducted on women approximately 2 weeks postpartum, then at 2 weekly intervals throughout the first three months, and finally once per month until the infants first birthday. Bivariate associations and logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine the relation of PIM with variables, as well as with BF duration. Results: PIM was reported by 44% of the participants and was the main reason for introduction of infant formula. Formula use was a significant predictor for PIM (R2=0.22) and was explained by formula being used in response to PIM. We found that PIM was a significant predictor of BF duration (any BF 5 months R2=0.44, full BF 5 months R2=0.13, any BF 12 months R2=0.32). Additionally, maternal importance  of  BF  at  4  weeks  can  also  predict  the  duration  of  BF.  Conclusion:  PIM  plays  a  significant role in the introduction of infant formula and BF cessation. However, the absence of a significant relationship between PIM and demographic variables makes it difficult to identify mothers who may be at risk of PIM. Further research is required to try identify mothers at risk of PIM, in order to help prevent or resolve it.
Breastfeeding, Complications, New Zealand, Psychological aspects, Breast milk|