The objectives of this study were to describe the national prevalence of breastfeeding during hospitalization and at 1 and 3 months after delivery in Taiwan. A stratified proportional probability sampling method was used, with a total of 2079 mothers participating in the postal questionnaire. The prevalence of exclusive and partial breastfeeding (to any degree) was 17.9% and 47.0% during hospitalization, 22.3% and 48.4% at 1 month, and 16.7% and 17.4% at 3 months, respectively. There were significant regional variations in the rate of breastfeeding, with the highest rates demonstrated for Taipei City. Prevalence of breastfeeding in this study was generally higher than previously reported; however, a decline of more than 50% was noted between 1 and 3 months. In addition, the rates of exclusive breastfeeding were low. The results suggest the need to increase breastfeeding duration and encourage exclusive breastfeeding in Taiwan. Regional variations in prevalence of breastfeeding merit further study.
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