Men’s breastfeeding perceptions: A need for targeted intervention among male sub-populations

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Authors: Frederica Jackson, Cecilia S Obeng, Lilian Golzarri Arroyo, Heinrich Allison, Jada Byrd, and Emmanuel Obeng-Gyasi
Page Range: 203-211
Published in: International Public Health Journal, 15#2 (2023)
ISSN: 1947-4989

Table of Contents

ABSTRACT

Father’s attitudes towards breastfeeding impacts mother’s intentions to breastfeed. Therefore, understanding men’s breastfeeding perceptions helps to inform stakeholders in the development of more male-inclusive interventions aimed at improving childhood nutrition. Objective: This study sought to investigate men’ views around breastfeeding decision-making, breastfeeding in public areas, the role of external family and employer’s role in promoting exclusive breastfeeding. Additionally, the study examined the effect of age, education and income on male perceptions towards breastfeeding. Methods: A 10-item survey was administered via email and social media. Descriptive and inferential statistics were computed for each survey item. Results: Study findings indicate that age, level of education and income influence male perceptions on breastfeeding. Men aged 30-49, with 4-year college degree or higher and men with household income between $50K to $95K support more inclusive and collaborative breastfeeding decision-making, women’s bodily autonomy and better workplace practices that promote breastfeeding for working women. Conclusions: Targeted efforts focused on younger men, men of lower income and lower educational levels are warranted to increase breastfeeding support, and to educate about the value of breastfeeding in promoting the health and well-being of infants and newborns.

Keywords: Men’s perceptions, breastfeeding support, decision-making, public breastfeeding

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