A research study of sources of support for bottle feeding in new mothers

Patricia Cairney, Rosaline Barbour

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper asks if there is a difference in mothers' perceptions of the support they receive about bottle feeding from a range of professional and non-professional sources. The findings are put into the context of associated demographic characteristics. It forms part of a larger study, which was a longitudinal postal survey of 500 childbearing women across two health board regions in Scotland. Women were recruited at 34 weeks gestation by post. The results reported here are from further postal questionnaires at one and three months postnatally. Older women and those with higher education were more likely to initiate and maintain breast feeding, and less likely to introduce solid foods early. Younger women, who were mainly bottle feeding, were more likely to feel they had enough knowledge about feeding their infants than older women and were significantly more likely to feel that relatives were supportive about infant feeding. However, findings suggest that this confidence is largely dependent upon the support provided by relatives. Given the likelihood of misinformation and the potential for passing on inappropriate practices, this issue merits further examination. Health promotion strategies aimed at relatives of new mothers could, therefore, help to redress this and, thereby, promote more health advantages for the infants involved. However, there may be a large number of younger women who do not have knowledgeable support for infant feeding from relatives or friends and for whom access to health professionals for this information is restricted, possibly leading to poor infant-feeding decisions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)30-34
    Number of pages5
    JournalCommunity Practitioner
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


    • Bottle feeding
    • Breastfeeding
    • Formula feeding
    • Health promotion
    • Support


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