by Ann Douglas
A group of researchers from the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research at Deakin University, in Burwood, Australia has discovered that peer pressure can influence a mother's decision to discontinue breastfeeding.
The researchers studied the effects of joining a first-time mothers' group in which a large number of mothers were no longer breastfeeding by the time their babies were six weeks of age (more than 25 percent of the group members were no longer breastfeeding) as compared to groups in which fewer mothers had quit breastfeeding by the time their babies were six weeks of age (fewer than 25 percent of the group members had stopped breastfeeding).
After adjusting for maternal age, BMI, employment, education, and socio-economic status, the researchers concluded that belonging to a group in which a large percentage of mothers had stopped breastfeeding by the time their babies were six weeks of age increased the likelihood that other mothers would stop breastfeeding their babies by age six months.
The researchers concluded that attending parent groups where other mothers are breastfeeding other babies of a similar age "may have an important influence on the continuation of breastfeeding to six months."
This article originally appeared in City Parent.