Poor babies breastfed less

Herald Sun (Aust) September 01, 2008

BABIES from poor families are less likely to be breastfed, giving them more chance of becoming sick and having to go to hospital, new Melbourne research suggests. A study by La Trobe University researchers has found only a third of low-income mothers breastfeed their babies, compared with two-thirds of more wealthy mothers. Dr Lisa Amir, from La Trobe’s Mother and Child Research department, said formula-fed babies were sicker and more likely go to hospital, fuelling health inequities in Australian children.

Dr Amir said richer mothers were more likely to adopt healthier behaviour such as exercising, eating healthy foods and quitting smoking.  In the decade leading up to 2005 the number of breastfeeding mothers from poor families dropped to 37.1 per cent.