Variation in the association between socioeconomic status and breastfeeding practices by immigration status in Taiwan: A population based birth cohort study

Wen Chi Wu, Jennifer Chun Li Wu, Tung Liang Chiang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and breastfeeding has been extensively discussed in the literature. However, there is some evidence that this relationship can differ with immigration status. To date the majority of research investigating the relationships among SES, breastfeeding and immigration status has been conducted in Europe and the United States with a lack of similar research from Asia. Therefore, the aim of this study was to describe differences in breastfeeding practices between native-born Taiwanese mothers and immigrant mothers in Taiwan and to investigate any differences in the relationship between SES and breastfeeding practices by immigration status. Methods: Data analyzed came from the Taiwan Birth Cohort Study, the first longitudinal study of babies in Taiwan with a nationally representative sample born in 2005. In the present study, we included 21,217 mothers or primary caregivers who completed interview surveys when their child was 6 months old. Socioeconomic status was measured by the education level of mothers and fathers, and the couple's monthly income. Data analysis involved multiple logistic regression. Control variables included residential area, mother's employment status, age of the father and mother, and sex of the infant. Results: The proportion of immigrant mothers predominantly breastfeeding for 4 and for 6 months (Mainland Chinese mothers: 18.25 %, 36.29 %; Southeast Asian mothers: 10.71 %, 24.85 %) was significantly higher than that observed in their Taiwan-born counterparts (7.03 %, 16.22 %). Analysis stratified by immigration status showed that a higher level of parental education was associated with a greater likelihood of predominantly breastfeeding in Taiwanese mothers. However, no statistically significant relationship was observed between education and predominantly breastfeeding in immigrant mothers. Higher monthly income was also significantly associated with a greater likelihood of predominantly breastfeeding in Taiwanese mothers. However, there was no significant linear relationship between monthly income and predominantly breastfeeding in immigrant women. Conclusion: The relationship between SES and breastfeeding is different in immigrant mothers and native-born Taiwanese mothers. Taiwanese policy should continue to encourage breastfeeding in immigrant mothers. However, greater attention should be placed on Taiwanese mothers from a low SES background.

Original languageEnglish
Article number298
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Nov 16
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Breastfeeding
  • Education
  • Immigrants
  • Income
  • Socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Variation in the association between socioeconomic status and breastfeeding practices by immigration status in Taiwan: A population based birth cohort study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this