Maternal Smoking, Prenatal Care, and Breastfeeding Initiation

Sylvia Ann Ellison, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC
Anjani Chandra, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC

U.S. research demonstrates that breastfeeding provides significant health benefits for children (reduced risk of diarrhea, respiratory and ear infections, and asthma) and their mothers (reduced risk of breast cancer and osteoporosis). We examine the relationship between prenatal health behaviors (maternal smoking and early prenatal care) and breastfeeding initiation. We use data from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth. In addition to providing nationally representative information on individual mothers and their pregnancy histories, the 1995 NSFG allows linkage of individual-level data to contextual data at the county, Census tract, and block levels. Among singleton babies born 1991-95, 17% were born to a mother who reported smoking during pregnancy. 89% of these babies had a mother reporting 1st prenatal care visit in the 1st trimester, and 56% were breastfed at all. There are variations in all these measures when pregnancy intention, income, education, race, age, and marital status are considered.

Presented in Poster Session 5: Health and Mortality