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Evidence to support targeted investment in breastfeeding education among families of low socioeconomic status
  1. Meredith Brockway1,2,
  2. Meghan B Azad3,4
  1. 1 Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  2. 2 Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  3. 3 Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  4. 4 Manitoba Interdisciplinary Lactation Centre (MILC), Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Meghan B Azad, Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada; meghan.azad{at}

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Commentary on: Kopp SJ, Kelly EA, DeFranco EA. Influence of social determinants of health on breastfeeding intent in the USA. Birth. 2023 Jul 3. doi: 10.1111/birt.12740. Epub ahead of print.

Implications for practice and research

  • Healthcare providers should focus on improving knowledge around breastfeeding guidelines and the benefits of breast feeding for mothers in low socioeconomic status (SES) groups.

  • Focusing research on breastfeeding intention (rather than rates) in low SES groups may help to improve breastfeeding outcomes as breastfeeding intentions are a significant predictor of breastfeeding initiation.


Breastfeeding sets the foundation for healthy growth and development, with many recognised benefits for both infant and maternal health. Thus, socioeconomic disparities in breastfeeding—which are widely reported in the USA and many other Western countries1—contribute significantly to socioeconomic health disparities across the lifespan. Breastfeeding intentions are an established predictor of breastfeeding outcomes, yet most studies focus on measurable breastfeeding outcomes rather than the preceding intentions. Kopp et al focus on the latter in their new study about the impact of social determinants of health on breastfeeding …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this commentary from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.