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Su and Ouyang (2016) – Father’s Role in Breastfeeding Promotion – Lessons from a Quasi-Experimental Trial in China


Aims: The aims of this study were to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational intervention involving fathers on breastfeeding initiation and exclusive breastfeeding rate, and to explore mothers’ perceptions of their partners’ support of breastfeeding.

Materials and Methods: This study was a quasi-experimental pretest-posttest design with two groups. A convenience sample consisting of 72 expectant mothers was recruited. Thirty-six women with their partners were assigned to the intervention group, and 36 women alone were in the control group. Both groups were offered similar education contents, and the intervention group was given additional information on how fathers could support their partners, both emotionally and physically, during the breastfeeding process. Student’s t test, chi-square test, and Mann-Whitney U test were used to detect group differences.

Results: The prevalence rates of exclusive breastfeeding at 4 months and 6 months of the intervention group were significantly higher than there were in the control group (51.4% and 26.4%, p = 0.034; 40.0% and 17.6%, p = 0.041). Women in the intervention group were less likely to use infant formula at 1 and 6 months postpartum (5.6% and 23.5%, p = 0.032; 20.0% and 44.1%, p = 0.032). Related to the process of breastfeeding, partners in the intervention group supported their partners by taking care of the infant, doing housework, and providing emotional support.

Conclusions: Involving the fathers in breastfeeding education could improve the exclusive breastfeeding rate and prolong the duration of exclusive breastfeeding. The mothers appreciated support from the fathers.


Su, Min, and Yan-Qiong Ouyang2016. “Father’s Role in Breastfeeding Promotion: Lessons from a Quasi-Experimental Trial in China.” Breastfeeding Medicine 11(3):144–49. doi:10.1089/bfm.2015.0144.




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