Maternal Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy and the Breastfeeding Behaviors of Newborns in the Practice of Exclusive Breastfeeding

Jean Tak Alice Loke Yuen, Lai Kwai S. Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To explore the maternal breastfeeding self-efficacy of Chinese women, the breastfeeding behaviors of newborns, and the relationship with breastfeeding outcomes at 6 weeks postpartum. Design: Descriptive correlation study. Setting: Postnatal ward of a regional maternity hospital Participants: All postnatal Chinese women who were admitted from mid-February 2010 to mid-March 2010 with the intention of breastfeeding. Methods: The Infant Breastfeeding Assessment Tool (IBFAT) was used to assess neonatal breastfeeding behaviors, and a modified Chinese version of the Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale-Short Form (MBSES-SF) was used to examine the breastfeeding self-efficacy of mothers. Results: A total of 199 postnatal women were recruited. At 6 weeks postpartum, 85 (42.7%) infants were bottle-fed, 66 (33.2%) were complementary breastfed, and 48 (24.1%) were exclusively breastfed. The significant contributing factors for exclusive breastfeeding were women who planned to breastfeed for at least 6 months (odds ratio [OR] = 5.537, 95% confidence interval [CI] [2.430, 12.619], p ≤ 0.001), women with a high level of breastfeeding self-efficacy (OR =, 7.776, 95% CI [2.546, 23.748], p ≤ 0.001), and those women whose infants had high-IBFAT scores (OR = 2.381, 95% CI [1.019, 5.562], p = .045). Conclusions: Maternal breastfeeding confidence and newborn breastfeeding behavior are strong predictors of breastfeeding duration as well as exclusivity. Health care professionals should monitor the breastfeeding behavior of newborns and not only provide mothers with the factual information on breastfeeding but help also them to develop maternal confidence in breastfeeding before they are discharged.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)672-684
Number of pages13
JournalJOGNN - Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Breastfeeding behavior
  • Breastfeeding efficacy
  • Exclusive breastfeeding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Critical Care
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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