Breastfeeding duration and authoritative feeding practices in first-time mothers

Jansen, Elena, Mallan, Kimberley M., Byrne, Rebecca, Daniels, Lynne, & Nicholson, Jan (2016) Breastfeeding duration and authoritative feeding practices in first-time mothers. Journal of Human Lactation, 32(3), pp. 498-506.

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  • Longer breastfeeding duration appears to have a protective effect against childhood obesity. This effect may be partially mediated by maternal feeding practices during the first years of life. However, the few studies that have examined links between breastfeeding duration and subsequent feeding practices have yielded conflicting results.


  • Using a large sample of first-time mothers and a newly validated, comprehensive measure of maternal feeding (the Feeding Practices and Structure Questionnaire1), this study examined associations between breastfeeding duration and maternal feeding practices at child age 24 months.


  • Mothers (n = 458) enrolled in the NOURISH trial2 provided data on breastfeeding at child age 4, 14 and 24 months, and on feeding practices at 24 months. Structural Equation Modelling was used to examine associations between breastfeeding duration and five non-responsive and four structure-related ‘authoritative’ feeding practices, adjusting for a range of maternal and child characteristics.


  • The model showed acceptable fit (χ2/df = 1.68; RMSEA = .04, CFI = .91 and TLI = .89) and longer breastfeeding duration was negatively associated with four out of five non-responsive feeding practices and positively associated with three out of four structure-related feeding practices. Overall, these results suggest that mothers who breastfeed longer reported using more appropriate feeding practices.


  • These data demonstrate an association between longer breastfeeding duration and authoritative feeding practices characterised by responsiveness and structure, which may partly account for the apparent protective effect of breastfeeding on childhood obesity.

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2 citations in Scopus
2 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 89995
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Breastfeeding duration, non-responsive feeding practices, structure-related feeding practices, authoritative feeding, toddlers, Feeding Practices and Structure Questionnaire
DOI: 10.1177/0890334415618669
ISSN: 0890-3344
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NUTRITION AND DIETETICS (111100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Sage Publications, Inc
Deposited On: 06 Nov 2015 01:24
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2017 06:01

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