Published Papers - Abstract 820

Coles J Y, Anderson A & Loxton D. Breastfeeding duration after childhood sexual abuse: An Australian Cohort Study. Journal of Human Lactation, 2016; 32(3): NP28-NP35

Background: Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is prevalent across the world. Childhood sexual abuse is associated with poorer health, but information on its impact on breastfeeding is limited. In this study, the authors investigated the link between CSA and duration of breastfeeding for 6 months or more.Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the association between CSA and breastfeeding duration for Australian women.Methods: Data from 3778 women from the 1973-1978 cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health were used. A stepped approach was used to assess the association between CSA and breastfeeding the first child for 6 months or more with logistic regression modeling, adjusting for significant sociodemographic characteristics, health behaviors, and adult violence.Results: The 15.5% of women who had experienced CSA were less educated, younger, and more likely to be smokers and to have experienced adult violence. The CSA group was less likely to breastfeed for 6 months or more (odds ratio [OR], 0.78; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.65-0.93), even after adjusting for smoking (OR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.68-0.98) and adult violence (OR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.67-0.96). There was no longer a significant association once sociodemographic factors were adjusted for, which remained true in the fully adjusted model (OR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.75-1.09).Conclusion: Women who experienced CSA were successfully able to maintain breastfeeding at a level similar to those who had not experienced CSA after controlling for sociodemographic factors. Further testing of whether the effects of CSA are mediated through social variables is warranted to investigate whether addressing social factors in service provision may be key to improving breastfeeding duration.

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