Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Pr Zita Lazzarini, Pr Jacqueline McGrath

Field of Study

Public Health


Master of Public Health

Open Access

Open Access


Background: Diarrheal diseases remain a major cause of childhood morbidity in the United States. Optimal breastfeeding has been identified as one of the most effective measure to prevent diarrheal diseases in childhood.

Purpose: To evaluate the impact of breastfeeding duration during the first 6 months on the incidence of diarrhea in infants between 7 and 12 months in the United States.

Method: A secondary data analysis was performed using mothers and infants participating in the Infant Feeding Practices Study II (2005-2007).

Results: Compared to those who breastfed for 6 months or more, infants who discontinued breastfeeding between 0 and 3 months were at 48.4% greater risk of having diarrhea at 7 and 12 months and those who discontinued breastfeeding between 3 and 6 months were at 31% greater risk of having diarrhea between 7 and 12 months.

Conclusion: Breastfeeding cessation before the first 6 months is a significant predictor of diarrhea between 7 and 12 months.

Major Advisor

Pr Audrey Chapman