Competing infant feeding information in mothers' networks: Advice that supports v. undermines clinical recommendations

Sato Ashida, Freda B. Lynn, Natalie A. Williams, Ellen J. Schafer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective To identify the social contextual factors, specifically the presence of information that supports v. undermines clinical recommendations, associated with infant feeding behaviours among mothers in low-income areas. Design Cross-sectional survey evaluating social support networks and social relationships involved in providing care to the infant along with feeding beliefs and practices. Setting Out-patient paediatric and government-funded (Women, Infants, and Children) clinics in an urban, low-income area of the south-eastern USA. Subjects Eighty-one low-income mothers of infants between 0 and 12 months old. Results Most mothers reported receiving both supportive and undermining advice. The presence of breast-feeding advice that supports clinical recommendations was associated with two infant feeding practices that are considered beneficial to infant health: ever breast-feeding (OR=6·7; 95 % CI 1·2, 38·1) and not adding cereal in the infant's bottle (OR=15·9; 95 % CI 1·1, 227·4). Advice that undermines clinical recommendations to breast-feed and advice about solid foods were not associated with these behaviours. Conclusions Efforts to facilitate optimal infant feeding practices may focus on increasing information supportive of clinical recommendations while concentrating less on reducing the presence of undermining information within mothers' networks. Cultural norms around breast-feeding may be stronger than the cultural norms around the introduction of solid foods in mothers' social environments; thus, additional efforts to increase information regarding introduction of solid foods earlier in mothers' infant care career may be beneficial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1200-1210
Number of pages11
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Breast-feeding
  • Cereal adding
  • Health information
  • Infant feeding
  • Introduction of solids
  • Social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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