Date of Award
Open Access Thesis
MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)
Physician Assistant Studies
Dawn B. Ludwig
Background: previous studies regarding breastfeeding have demonstrated the importance of the father in the infant feeding decision and shown that mothers were more likely to breastfeed if the father had a positive opinion of breastfeeding. Methods: This study intended to determine what attitudes fathers had regarding breastfeeding and if a positive view of breastfeeding by a father correlated to the intention of his partner to breastfeed. The subjects for the study were couples participating together in one of two birth and parenting classes- The mothers were questioned about their intended breastfeeding decision, their perceived support from their male partner and whether they would change their decision if their partner did not support it- The fathers were asked to rate a number of opinions regarding breastfeeding on a Likert scale' Results: of the expectant fathers, 72% felt breastfeeding is better for the baby, 82% felt breastfeeding was natural, 76% felt breastfeeding was beneficial for the mother and 80% felt breastfeeding was better for the baby. Of the 50 expectant mothers, 82% intended to breastfeed exclusively and 14%planned to use a combination of breastfeeding and bottle-feeding with formula and 100% of the mothers reported support from their male partner. of the mothers, 74% stated they would stay with their decision if their partner did not support it. Conclusions: From the results of the study, it was apparent that fathers with a positive attitude surrounding breastfeeding were more likely to have partners who intended to breastfeed than fathers with a negative attitude' This study found that a majority of the women stated they would stay with their feeding method if their partner did not support it. This is different from results of other studies that found a mother would choose the infant feeding method she thought her partner preferred. lncluding the expectant father in breastfeeding education may have a positive effect on breastfeeding incidence and duration, and the birth and parenting class provides an opportunity to do such.
Semling, Danielle M., "Attitudes of Expectant Fathers Regarding Breastfeeding And the Effect of the Expectant Father on the Expectant Mother's Intention to Breastfeed" (2004). Theses and Graduate Projects. 569.