Including fathers in breastfeeding promotion

September 2008

A controlled clinical trial in Brazil assessed the impact of a hospital-based education program for fathers on breastfeeding practices at six months. Mothers or mother/father pairs participated in a breastfeeding education session, watched a video, and received a handout. A control group received no intervention. The intervention with only mothers increased breastfeeding duration, but including fathers with less than eight years of education reduced breastfeeding duration. Overall, the intervention with mothers and fathers increased exclusive breastfeeding prevalence, but only when fathers had more than eight years of education. The authors concluded that the negative impact of the intervention on breastfeeding duration when including fathers with less education may have been attributable to the video, which did not consider traditional male roles. The video’s focus on fathers helping with household chores so that the mothers could breastfeed may have not have been culturally appropriate. 

Inclusion of Fathers in an Intervention to Promote Breastfeeding: Impact on Breastfeeding Practices