Infant feeding knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs predict antenatal intention among first-time mothers in Queensland
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Aim: This study assessed infant feeding knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs among women from Queensland, Australia, in their first pregnancy. Antenatal feeding intention in this group was described, and the hypothesis was tested that antenatal knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about infant feeding are associated with antenatal intention for the duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding for the infant's first year. Subjects and Methods: The Feeding Queensland Babies Study is a prospective survey of infant feeding attitudes and behaviors among first-time mothers in Queensland, Australia. Data on infant feeding knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and intention were collected antenatally, and an Infant Feeding Attitudes Score was calculated. Results: Although 85% of respondents endorsed breastfeeding as most appropriate for infants, 11% valued formula feeding equally. Intention to give any breastmilk during the first weeks was 98%, but it fell to 18% during the second year. More than one-quarter of women reported intention to introduce foods other than breastmilk before 5 months of infant age. The infant feeding attitudes and beliefs score correlated positively with feeding intention for breastfeeding and the introduction of complementary solids. Conclusions: Enhancing women's knowledge of recommendations and their understanding of breastfeeding's specific benefits and the reasons for recommended scheduling of feeding transitions may positively impact breastfeeding exclusivity and duration and the age-appropriate introduction of complementary solids. Communication of detailed feeding recommendations for the infant's first year and specific information about the health benefits of breastfeeding should be a goal of healthcare providers working with pregnant women.
Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified