“Our results suggest that those of us within maternal and paediatric health ought to give mothers from low-income groups more attention when it comes to questions about breast feeding,” said nurse and PhD student Thomas Wallby, to the Upsala Nya Tidning (UNT) newspaper.
Wallby and his colleagues followed roughly 12,000 children from Uppsala County in eastern Sweden for the study, which was carried out jointly by Uppsala University and the county’s child health services.
Using information collected from the child health service, researchers looked for connections between nursing patterns and socioeconomic factors affecting the mothers.
After six months, three-fourths of the children were still being nursed.
However, smoking mothers breast-fed their children for significantly shorter periods of time, the study showed.
The study also revealed differences in breast feeding habits of women with different income levels.
“The higher the income, the greater the chance that the mother was still nursing after six months,” Wallby told the newspaper.
The study was published in the online edition of the paediatric journal Acta Paediatrica.