Breastfeeding has been identified as the perfect source of infant nutrition. Improving the rates and duration of breastfeeding is a global public health concern. Even though facilitators and barriers to successful breastfeeding have been identified in the literature, rates of breastfeeding fall below desired targets. Maternal characteristics such as body image and eating attitudes have been examined with respect to pregnancy and birth outcomes, yet have been less studied with respect to infant feeding choice. Based on existing literature it is possible that poor body image and /or disordered eating may affect the intention to breastfeed. The purpose of this study was to compare body image, eating attitudes, and breastfeeding intention of breastfeeding to non-breastfeeding mothers. A secondary aim was to determine if breastfeeding intention, body image, and/or eating attitudes predicted actual behavior. A two group, comparative design was used to analyze data for first time mothers (n = 66) recruited through a large pediatric practice with multiple offices. Instruments included the 34 item self-report Multidimensional Body Self Relations Questionnaire-Appearance Scales (MBSRQ-AS), the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26), and items from a Demographic and History form. Data analysis revealed that there was no significant difference in the body image or eating attitudes between breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding mothers. Breastfeeding intention was a strong determinant of actual breastfeeding (p = 0.001). Neither body image and/or eating attitudes predicted infant feeding method. It has been well established that personal and contextual factors affect breastfeeding intention. As a result, body image and eating attitudes can have an impact on a woman's health during childbearing. The present study highlights the need for improved instruments designed for pregnant and lactating women that measure the cognitive and behavioral aspects of body image. Subsequently, women who display disordered eating tendencies or body image dissatisfaction during the perinatal period can be identified.
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-B 78/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Behavioral psychology, Womens studies, Nursing|
|Keywords:||Body Image and Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding Intention, Eating Attitudes and Breastfeeding|
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