Date of Publication


Faculty Mentor

Charles Mercier, MD, MPH


Objectives: To examine the association between prenatal depression and breastfeeding initiation and duration.

Methods: Data from the 2020 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) survey responses of Vermont women after live birth was collected. The exposure variable (self-reported prenatal depression) and outcome variables (breastfeeding initiation and duration rates) were received from the researchers of the PRAMS dataset. The survey data was evaluated using logistic regression analysis to determine predictors of breastfeeding initiation and duration controlling for potential confounders. All tests were measured at 0.05 level significance.

Results: The analytic sample was composed of 3,753 women who gave birth in the last year. In the analysis of the association, depression was a significant predictor of breastfeeding duration. Annual household income and maternal education both significantly increased the odds of breastfeeding initiation and duration.

Conclusions: Continued research into socioeconomic status (SES), maternal mental health, and the many other factors associated with breastfeeding behavior is necessary to inform evidence-based interventions. Policymakers should devise strategies to further prioritize and promote breastfeeding.

Document Type


Available for download on Saturday, May 10, 2025