An exploratory study to investigate alcohol consumption among breast-feeding mothers

Sarah Baker, Meaghan Christian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective:We examined the likelihood of breast-feeding mothers consuming alcohol according to several socio-demographic factors.Design:We carried out secondary data analyses using participant information obtained from a cross-sectional survey designed to capture the dietary habits of UK infants aged 4-18 months.Setting:Data concerning breast-feeding mothers' social and domestic circumstances and alcohol consumption were drawn from the 2011 Diet and Nutrition Survey of Infants and Young Children.Participants:Complete data from 2683 breast-feeding mothers were included, and further analyses were carried out on those who continued to drink alcohol (n 227).Results:Logistic regression enabled the identification of social factors associated with breast-feeding and continued alcohol consumption among mothers. Several social factors were found to influence the likelihood of breast-feeding mothers drinking alcohol. For example, older mothers, mothers with partners who drank alcohol, those with higher educational attainment and household income and those who consumed alcohol whilst pregnant were more likely to continue to drink alcohol. Mothers' breast-feeding infants older than 12 months were less likely to drink alcohol than those feeding infants aged 4-6 months.Conclusions:Evidence suggests that social circumstances influence the likelihood of alcohol use among mothers who are breast-feeding. Greater understanding of mothers' decision making with respect to the continuation or discontinuation of alcohol use whilst breast-feeding, according to the social context in which they live, is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2929-2935
Number of pages7
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Alcohol
  • Breast-feeding
  • Patterns
  • Quantitative research

Cite this