Knowledge and attitudes towards breastfeeding practices: A cross-sectional survey of postnatal mothers in China

Layal Hamze, Jing Mao, Elizabeth Reifsnider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the mothers’ knowledge and attitudes toward breastfeeding and highlight barriers to exclusive breastfeeding in Chinese postpartum mothers. Design: Cross sectional survey Setting: Maternity wards of two large, multi-service teaching hospitals, Wuhan, China. Participants: 324 postnatal mothers completed a structured questionnaire during their stay at hospital from October 2016 to January 2017. Measurements and findings: Descriptive and inferential statistics revealed that most mothers showed neutral attitude on breastfeeding and neutral knowledge level as well. The average score for the total Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale (IIFAS) was 56.55±4.77 M±SD, and 10.83±2.77, M±SD for the knowledge section. The mothers who had poor knowledge were less likely to initiate breastfeeding within an hour after birth. Conclusions: The results of this study are applicable to nurses and nurse midwives to assist in identification of women who may be at-risk to not initiate breastfeeding. Maternal positive attitude and good knowledge play key roles in the process of breastfeeding. Thus, it is important to provide antenatal and early postpartum education and periodical breastfeeding counselling, especially for new mothers, to improve maternal attitudes and knowledge toward breastfeeding practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-75
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • Attitude
  • Chinese mothers
  • Exclusive breastfeeding
  • Knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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