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Infant Formula Samples: Perinatal Sources and Breast-Feeding Outcomes at 1 Month Postpartum

Thurston, Amanda MS, RD; Bolin, Jocelyn H. PhD; Chezem, Jo Carol PhD, RD

The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing: October/December 2013 - Volume 27 - Issue 4 - p 353–358
doi: 10.1097/JPN.0b013e3182a99e7a
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The purpose was to describe sources of infant formula samples during the perinatal period and assess their associations with breast-feeding outcomes at 1 month postpartum. Subjects included expectant mothers who anticipated breast-feeding at least 1 month. Infant feeding history and sources of formula samples were obtained at 1 month postpartum. Associations between sources and breast-feeding outcomes were assessed using partial correlation. Of the 61 subjects who initiated breast-feeding, most were white (87%), married (75%), college-educated (75%), and planned exclusive breast-feeding (82%). Forty-two subjects (69%) continued breast-feeding at 1 month postpartum. Subjects received formula samples from the hospital (n = 40; 66%), physician's office (n = 10; 16%), and mail (n = 41; 67%). There were no significant correlations between formula samples from the hospital, physician's office, and/or mail and any or exclusive breast-feeding at 1 month (P > .05). In addition to the hospital, a long-standing source of formula samples, mail was also frequently reported as a route for distribution. The lack of statistically significant associations between formula samples and any or exclusive breast-feeding at 1 month may be related to small sample size and unique characteristics of the group studied.

Departments of Family and Consumer Sciences (Ms Thurston and Dr Chezem) and Education Psychology (Dr Bolin), Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana.

Corresponding Author: Jo Carol Chezem, PhD, RD, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, AT 150 F, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306 (

This research was funded by Ball State University.

Disclosure: The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Submitted for publication: October 25, 2012; accepted for publication: August 20, 2013.

© 2013 by Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.