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  1. Thurston, Amanda MS, RD
  2. Bolin, Jocelyn H. PhD
  3. Chezem, Jo Carol PhD, RD


The purpose was to describe sources of infant formula samples during the perinatal period and assess their associations with breast-feeding outcomes at 1 month postpartum. Subjects included expectant mothers who anticipated breast-feeding at least 1 month. Infant feeding history and sources of formula samples were obtained at 1 month postpartum. Associations between sources and breast-feeding outcomes were assessed using partial correlation. Of the 61 subjects who initiated breast-feeding, most were white (87%), married (75%), college-educated (75%), and planned exclusive breast-feeding (82%). Forty-two subjects (69%) continued breast-feeding at 1 month postpartum. Subjects received formula samples from the hospital (n = 40; 66%), physician's office (n = 10; 16%), and mail (n = 41; 67%). There were no significant correlations between formula samples from the hospital, physician's office, and/or mail and any or exclusive breast-feeding at 1 month (P > .05). In addition to the hospital, a long-standing source of formula samples, mail was also frequently reported as a route for distribution. The lack of statistically significant associations between formula samples and any or exclusive breast-feeding at 1 month may be related to small sample size and unique characteristics of the group studied.