Infant-feeding attitudes of expectant mothers in Northern Ireland

Julie Sittlington, Barbara J. Stewart-Knox, Marion Wright, Ian Bradbury, Jane A. Scot

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74 Citations (Scopus)


Northern Ireland (NI) has one of the lowest rates of breast-feeding initiation and duration in both the UK and the industrialized world. This study therefore aimed to explore the relationship between infant-feeding attitudes and feeding intention and outcome in expectant mothers within NI. Expectant mothers (n = 200) were recruited from hospital antenatal booking clinics. Each completed a demographic questionnaire and the self-administered Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale (IIFAS). Participants (n = 192) were followed up after birth through the Northern Ireland Maternity System. The IIFAS distinguished between those mothers who intended to breast-feed (higher IIFAS scores) and those who intended to artificially feed (lower IIFAS scores) as well as between those who breast-fed and those who artificially fed on discharge from hospital. The IIFAS was also able to distinguish between mothers in regard to feeding intention and outcome on the basis of education, socio-economic class, income and marital status. This suggests that the IIFAS could prove useful in the targeting and evaluation of intervention to promote breast-feeding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-570
JournalHealth Education Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Aug 2007


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