Family members’ infant feeding preferences, maternal breastfeeding exposures and exclusive breastfeeding intentions

Kris Yuet Wan Lok, Dorothy Li Bai, Marie Tarrant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Background Maternal breastfeeding intentions are strongly associated with breastfeeding exclusivity and duration. Factors that affect new mothers’ exclusive breastfeeding intentions have not been adequately examined. Objective The purpose of this study was to examine the association between family member's infant feeding preferences, breastfeeding exposures, and womens’ exclusive breastfeeding intentions. Methods 1277 breastfeeding mother-infant pairs were recruited from four public hospitals in Hong Kong. We used multiple logistic and linear regression models to explore the impact of the family members’ infant feeding preferences and breastfeeding exposures on exclusive breastfeeding intentions. Results 78.1% mothers reported an intention to exclusively breastfeed, and the median intended duration of exclusive breastfeeding was 26 weeks. The husband's preference for breastfeeding (aOR = 1.67; 95% CI 1.20–2.31), previous breastfeeding experience (aOR = 1.56; 95% CI 1.10–2.23) and attendance at an antenatal breastfeeding class (aOR = 2.09; 95% CI 1.45–3.02) were all strongly associated with higher maternal intention to exclusively breastfeed. For every additional family member who preferred breastfeeding, the odds of intending to exclusively breastfeed increased by 32% (aOR1.32; 95% CI, 1.13–1.55). Similarly, the proportion of participants intending to exclusively breastfeed increased progressively with more breastfeeding exposures. Conclusions Including fathers and other significant family members in antenatal breastfeeding education can help to maximize breastfeeding support for the new mother and encourage new mothers to exclusively breastfeed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-54
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Breastfeeding
  • Chinese
  • Exclusive breastfeeding
  • Hong Kong
  • Infant feeding preferences
  • Intentions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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