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Infant formula feeding practices and the role of advice and support: an exploratory qualitative study

Appleton, Jessica, Laws, Rachel, Russell, Catherine Georgina, Fowler, Cathrine, Campbell, Karen J and Denney-Wilson, Elizabeth 2018, Infant formula feeding practices and the role of advice and support: an exploratory qualitative study, BMC pediatrics, vol. 18, pp. 1-11, doi: 10.1186/s12887-017-0977-7.

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Title Infant formula feeding practices and the role of advice and support: an exploratory qualitative study
Author(s) Appleton, Jessica
Laws, RachelORCID iD for Laws, Rachel orcid.org/0000-0003-4328-1116
Russell, Catherine Georgina
Fowler, Cathrine
Campbell, Karen JORCID iD for Campbell, Karen J orcid.org/0000-0002-4499-3396
Denney-Wilson, Elizabeth
Journal name BMC pediatrics
Volume number 18
Article ID 12
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2018-01-24
ISSN 1471-2431
1471-2431
Keyword(s) infant formula
obesity
overweight
parents
mothers
feeding behaviour
marketing
adult
Australia
education, nonprofessional
female
infant
infant behavior
infant care
infant, newborn
male
maternal behavior
mother-child relations
parenting
pediatric obesity
qualitative research
social support
science & technology
life sciences & biomedicine
pediatrics
Summary BACKGROUND: Infant formula feeding practices are an important consideration for obesity prevention. An infant's diet is influential on their later risk of developing overweight or obesity, yet very little is known about infant formula feeding practices. It is plausible that certain modifiable practices may put children at higher risk of developing overweight or obesity, for example how much and how often a baby is fed. Understanding how parents use infant formula and what factors may influence this practice is therefore important. Moreover, parents who feed their infants formula have identified a lack of support and access to resources to guide them. Therefore this study aimed to explore parents' infant formula feeding practices to understand how parents use infant formula and what factors may influence this practice.

METHODS: Using an explorative qualitative design, data were collected using semi-structured telephone interviews and analysed using a pragmatic inductive approach to thematic analysis.

RESULTS: A total of 24 mothers from across Australia were interviewed. Mothers are influenced by a number of factors in relation to their infant formula feeding practice. These factors include information on the formula tin and marketing from formula manufacturers, particularly in relation to choosing the type of formula. Their formula feeding practices are also influenced by their interpretation of infant cues, and the amount of formula in the bottle. Many mothers would like more information to aid their practices but barriers exist to accessing health professional advice and support, so mothers may rely on informal sources. Some women reported that the social environment surrounding infant feeding wherein breastfeeding is promoted as the best option leads a feeling of stigma when formula feeding.

CONCLUSIONS: Additional support for parents' feeding their infants with formula is necessary. Health professionals and policy around infant formula use should include how formula information may be provided to parents who use formula in ways that do not undermine breastfeeding promotion. Further observational research should seek to understand the interaction between advice, interpretation of cues and the amount formula fed to infants.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12887-017-0977-7
Field of Research 1114 Paediatrics And Reproductive Medicine
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2018, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30110458

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.