Health professionals’ attitudes towards the promotion of breastfeeding

Douglas Marks, Rory O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Despite their important role in breastfeeding promotion, there is a lack of research regarding professionals’ attitudes towards breastfeeding, and the impact these may have on breastfeeding promotion.

To investigate health professionals’ views regarding breastfeeding, the influences on those views, and how they impact the breastfeeding promotion.

In this qualitative study, 10 focus groups were carried out with health professionals involved with breastfeeding promotion.

Several themes emerged. These were: powerlessness and pessimism, breastfeeding promotion vs coercion/education, and the function of breastfeeding promotion. Professionals felt positively towards breastfeeding, but saw their influence as minimal due to an array of external influences on the mothers’ decision. They felt that promotion was not always carried out appropriately, and were wary of moralising breastfeeding. Professionals felt their role was one of informing, rather than promotion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-58
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Midwifery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Breastfeeding
  • Promotion
  • Attitudes
  • Health psychology
  • Thematic analysis


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