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February 1986

Early Suckling and Prolonged Breast-feeding

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and the Magee-Womens Hospital, Pittsburgh.

Am J Dis Child. 1986;140(2):151-154. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1986.02140160069036

• We determined the duration of breast-feeding for 362 full-term infants of middle- and upper-class mothers. The median duration of breast-feeding was five months for infants whose mothers elected to postpone physical contact (n=94), four months for infants whose mothers elected early physical contact but later suckling (n=82), and 8.5 months for infants whose mothers elected to suckle during early contact (n=186). The rate of decline of breast-feeding was significantly slower for infants who were suckled early than for those who were first suckled later. The association between early suckling and prolonged breast-feeding was not affected by the infant's gender or maternal parity.

(AJDC 1986;140:151-154)