Predictors of breastfeeding initiation in Hong Kong and Mainland China born mothers

Kris Yuet Wan Lok, Dorothy Li Bai, Marie Tarrant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: In recent years there has been a steady influx of immigrants into Hong Kong from Mainland China, where breastfeeding patterns differ. Studies in other regions have found substantial differences in breastfeeding rates between native-born and immigrant mothers. The purpose of this study was to examine factors associated with breastfeeding initiation in Hong Kong born and Mainland China born mothers living in Hong Kong. Methods: We used a multi-center cross-sectional study design and recruited 2761 new mothers from the postnatal wards of all eight public hospitals in Hong Kong that offer obstetric services. We assessed breastfeeding status as well as various socio-demographic, maternal and birth characteristics. Chi-square tests and multivariable logistic regression were used to identify the predictors of breastfeeding initiation in Hong Kong born and Mainland China born participants. Results: 80.3% of Hong Kong and 81.1% of Mainland Chinese born women initiated breastfeeding. In the fully adjusted models, multiparity (Odds Ratio [OR] 0.53, 95% CI 0.43-0.66) and maternal smoking (OR 0.29, 95% CI 0.18-0.45) were strongly associated with failure to initiate breastfeeding in both Hong Kong and Mainland China born participants. In Hong Kong born mothers, participants with lower maternal education and those who had a cesarean section were significantly less likely to breastfeed. For Mainland China born mothers, paternal smoking (OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.49-0.99) and having a pregnancy-related health problem (OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.38-0.94) were both additional risk factors for not breastfeeding. Conclusion: This study has identified predictors of breastfeeding initiation in Hong Kong and Mainland China born mothers. Given the current high breastfeeding initiation rates among both groups, antenatal breastfeeding education and promotion programmes need to specifically intervene with sub-groups of pregnant women at risk for not breastfeeding so that their efforts are more strategic and cost-effective.

Original languageEnglish
Article number286
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 3 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Breastfeeding
  • Chinese
  • Hong Kong
  • Initiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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