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Table 6 Variables assessed in relation to breastfeeding in Phase 1 of this studya

From: Breastfeeding practices 2008–2009 among Chinese mothers living in Ireland: a mixed methods study

  Total population CMC CMI
(n = 322) (n = 47) (n = 275)
No. (%) No. (%) No. (%)
Biomedical factors
Obstetric experience
 Spontaneous vaginal delivery (SVD) 260 (81.0) 32 (68.1) 228 (83.2)
 Caesarean section 61 (19.0) 15 (31.9) 46 (16.8)
Gestational age
  < 37 weeks 23 (7.2) 3 (6.4) 20 (7.3)
 37–42 weeks 264 (82.2) 37 (78.7) 227 (82.8)
  > 42 weeks 34 (10.6) 7 (14.9) 27 (9.9)
Maternal health condition at time of childbirthc
 Unhealthy 18 (5.6) 1 (2.1) 17 (6.2)
 Healthy 303 (94.4) 46 (97.9) 257 (93.8)
Child’s health condition at time of childbirthc
 Unhealthy 26 (8.1) 1 (2.1) 25 (9.1)
 Healthy 295 (91.9) 46 (97.9) 249 (90.9)
Behavioural factors
Mother’s previous breastfeeding experience
 Had given birth to and breastfed the other child (ren) 75 (23.4) 0 (0) 75 (27.85)
 Had given birth to but not breastfed any other child (ren) 29 (9.1) 2 (4.3) 27 (9.9)
 Did not have birth nor breastfeeding experience 216 (67.5) 45 (95.7) 171 (62.6)
Newborn bed shared with mother
 Yes 89 (27.7) 21 (44.7) 68 (24.8)
 No 232 (72.3) 26 (55.3) 206 (75.2)
Type of milk feeding
 On demand 124 (38.6) 17 (36.2) 107 (39.1)
 In routine milk 197 (61.4) 30 (63.8) 167 (60.9)
1st time to breastfeed
  ≤ 1 h after childbirth 103 (32.7) 8 (17.0) 95 (35.4)
  > 1 h or never 212 (67.3) 39 (83.0) 173 (64.6)
1st time to feed with formula
  ≥ 1 week or never 115 (36.1) 32 (68.1) 83 (30.5)
  < 1 week 204 (63.9) 15 (31.9) 189 (69.5)
Timing of the introduction of other non-milk-liquids
  ≥ 1 week or never 289 (93.8) 32 (71.1) 257 (97.7)
  < 1 week 19 (6.2) 13 (28.9) 6 (2.3)
Maternal consumption of the cultural postpartum diet
 Yes 173 (53.7) 35 (74.5) 138 (50.2)
 No 149 (46.3) 12 (25.5) 137 (49.8)
Social support and influence
Feeding information obtained from internet
 Yes 79 (24.6) 7 (14.9) 72 (26.3)
 No 242 (75.4) 40 (85.1) 202 (73.7)
Feeding information obtained from mother’s own mother
 Yes 178 (55.5) 20 (42.6) 158 (57.7)
 No 143 (44.5) 27 (57.4) 116 (42.3)
Feeding information obtained from antenatal classes
 Yes 97 (30.2) 23 (48.9) 74 (27.0)
 No 224 (69.8) 24 (51.1) 200 (73.0)
Her own mother’s attitude influenced her feeding choice
 Yes 114 (35.6) 14 (29.8) 100 (36.6)
 No 206 (64.4) 33 (70.2) 173 (63.4)
Health professionals’ attitude influenced mother’s feeding choice
 Yes 79 (24.7) 12 (25.5) 67 (24.5)
 No 241 (75.3) 35 (74.5) 206 (75.5)
Family type at time of childbirth
 Extended family 86 (26.9) 27 (57.4) 59 (21.6)
 Nuclear family 234 (73.1) 20 (42.6) 214 (78.4)
Child was looked after by maternal grandmother
 Yes 39 (12.1) 9 (19.1) 30 (10.9)
 No 283 (87.9) 38 (80.9) 245 (89.1)
Child was looked after by paternal grandmother
 Yes 36 (11.2) 14 (29.8) 22 (8.0)
 No 286 (88.8) 33 (70.2) 253 (92.0)
Timing of return to work after childbirth
 Before 4 months 55 (17.2) 13 (27.7) 42 (15.4)
 4–6 months 86 (26.9) 14 (29.8) 72 (26.4)
 7–12 months 53 (16.6) 7 (14.9) 46 (16.8)
  > 12 months or went back to work 126 (39.4) 13 (27.7) 113 (41.4)
Attitudinal factors
 Feeding decision was made
  Before pregnancy 155 (49.1) 18 (39.1) 137 (50.7)
  During pregnancy 109 (34.5) 18 (39.1) 91 (33.7)
  After the child was born 52 (16.5) 10 (21.7) 42 (15.6)
Planned breastfeeding duration
  ≥ 4 months 189 (58.7) 38 (80.9) 151 (54.9)
  < 4 months/never 133 (41.3) 9 (19.1) 124 (45.1)
Attitude towards colostrum
 Important for the baby 276 (86.2) 42 (89.4) 234 (85.7)
 Harmful for the baby/Should be discard/Don’t know 44 (13.8) 5 (10.6) 39 (14.3)
I do not like breastfeeding
 Disagree 248 (78.7) 38 (80.9) 210 (78.4)
 Agree/Don’t know 67 (21.2) 9 (19.1) 58 (21.7)
Formula feeding is more convenient than breastfeeding
 Disagree 133 (42.0) 26 (55.3) 107 (39.6)
 Agree/Don’t know 184 (58.0) 21 (44.7) 162 (60.4)
I would feel embarrassed if someone saw me breastfeeding
 Disagree 146 (46.1) 27 (57.4) 119 (44.1)
 Agree/Don’t know 171 (53.9) 20 (42.6) 151 (55.9)
Some traditional Chinese food can help to improve milk production
 Agree 271 (85.2) 41 (89.1) 230 (84.6)
 Disagree/Don’t know 47 (14.8) 5 (10.9) 42 (15.4)
Mean ± S.D. Mean ± S.D. Mean ± S.D.
Maternal awareness (score) of the advantage of breastfeeding for the babyc 4.04 ± 0.73 4.22 ± 0.69 4.00 ± 0.74
  1. CMC Chinese mother gave birth in China, CMI Chinese mother gave birth in Ireland
  2. Columns where the numbers do not add up to the specific n reflect missing values for this column
  3. aThis table excluded socio-demographic variables which were listed in Table 1
  4. cMaternal awareness of the advantages of breastfeeding was assessed by a scale created by the investigator of this study after a review of the relevant literature. Details have been described by Zhou et al. [23]. It was a 5-point Likert scale (Strongly disagree = 1; Disagree = 2; Neither = 3; Agree = 4; Strongly agree = 5) via four statements: S1. A breastfed baby is likely to have fewer infections than a formula fed baby; S2. Breast milk is the ideal food for babies; S3. Breastfeeding provides health benefits for infants that cannot be provided by formula milk; and S4. Breastfeeding significantly reduces the risk of a large number of infant diseases. Score of awareness was calculated by summing all awareness scale items and dividing by the total number of items. Cronbach’s alpha = 0.836, indicating acceptable reliability
  5. cUnhealthy: diagnosed as having any illness; Healthy: diagnosed as not having any illness