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April 1995

Prenatal Health Behaviors as Predictors of Breast-feeding, Injury, and Vaccination

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics (Dr Swigonski) and Medicine (Dr Wolinsky), Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis; Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Mo (Dr Skinner); and the Regenstrief Institute for Health Care, Indianapolis (Dr Wolinsky).

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149(4):380-385. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1995.02170160034005

Objective:  To identify maternal prenatal preventive health behaviors associated with breast-feeding, early childhood injuries, and vaccination.

Design:  Secondary analysis of the 1988 National Maternal and Infant Health Survey.

Setting:  Questionnaires were mailed to the mother's home.

Patients:  The response rate to this nationally representative sample was 71%. These analyses include the 10 868 mothers whose infants had ever been at home.

Interventions:  None.

Main Outcome Measure(s):  Multivariable logistic regression was used to predict the following: (1) having "ever" breast-fed; (2) having breast-fed for at least 6 weeks; (3) "an accident or bad fall" during any of the first 6 months of the child's life ("early" injury) or (4) in the month prior to the interview ("recent" injury); (5) having received "any" vaccinations or (6) having received three diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus immunizations.

Results:  Children of mothers who reduced alcohol consumption during the pregnancy, had higher incomes, and were white had the best preventive health outcomes. Adequacy of prenatal care was predictive of vaccination, but not of breast-feeding or injury.

Conclusions:  These data suggest that prenatal sociodemographic characteristics and maternal health behaviors have significant and continued effects on the preventive health outcomes of infants and children.(Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149:380-385)