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Infant feeding attitudes of women in the United Kingdom during pregnancy and after birth

Wilkins, C., Ryan, K., Green, J. and Thomas, P. (2012) Infant feeding attitudes of women in the United Kingdom during pregnancy and after birth. Journal of Human Lactation, 28 (4). pp. 547-555. ISSN 0890-3344

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1177/0890334412456602

Abstract/Summary

Background: To address the recognized low rates of breastfeeding in the United Kingdom (UK), a change in fundamental attitudes toward infant feeding might be required. This paper reports an exploration of women’s attitudes toward breastfeeding at different time points in the perinatal period, undertaken as part of a larger breastfeeding evaluation study. Objectives: To measure women’s infant feeding attitudes at 3 stages during the perinatal period to see whether, on average, they differed over time. Methods: Using the 17-item Iowa Infant Feeding Attitudes Scale (IIFAS), this cross-sectional study measured the infant feeding attitudes of 866 UK women at 3 perinatal stages (20 and 35 weeks antenatally and 6 weeks postpartum). Results: Mean IIFAS scores were very similar, which shows that discrete groups of women at different time points in pregnancy and postpartum appear to have the same attitudes toward infant feeding. The predominance of scores lay in the mid-range at each of the time points, which may indicate women’s indecision or ambivalent feelings about infant feeding during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Conclusions: Action must be undertaken to target the majority of women with mid-range scores whose ambivalence may respond positively to intervention programs. The challenge is to understand what would be appropriate and acceptable to this vulnerable group of women.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > School of Pharmacy > Pharmacy Practice Research Group
ID Code:70875
Publisher:SAGE

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