Effect of a breastfeeding educational programme on fathers’ intention to support exclusive breastfeeding: A quasi-experimental study

Saratu O Ajike, Ololade O Ogunsanmi, Augusta E Chinenye-Julius, Jonathan M Dangana, Adebayo M Mustapha


Fathers’ support towards exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) is fast gaining recognition as a critical ingredient for successful EBF. This study examined the effect of a breastfeeding programme on fathers’ intention to support EBF in Ikenne, LGA, Ogun State, Nigeria. This study adopted a pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design.  A total of 50 expectant fathers participated in the study.  A theory-based questionnaire was used to collect data. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 25 at p≤0.05. Results revealed a significant effect of the breastfeeding programme on intention (R2 = 0.839, R2adj = 0.837, F (1,70) = 364.337, p = 0.000). There was significant difference in intention between the post-experimental (x̄ = 6.587±0.948) and pre-control (x̄ = 5.444±1.473) groups at p-value = 0.025. A breastfeeding programme targeted at fathers had positive impact on intention towards EBF support. Government policies review is required to ensure the inclusion of fathers in maternal and child health service delivery. (Afr J Reprod Health 2020; 24[3]:59-68).

Full Text:



Schwarzenberg SJ, Georgieff MK and Committee on

Nutrition. Advocacy for Improving Nutrition in the First 1000 Days to Support Childhood Development and Adult Health. Pediatrics 2018; 141(2): e20173716.

Zambrano E, Ibáñez C, Martínez-Samayoa PM, Lomas-

Soria C, Durand-Carbajal M and Rodríguez-González GL. Maternal Obesity: Lifelong Metabolic Outcomes for Offspring from Poor Developmental Trajectories During the Perinatal Period. Arch Med Res 2016; 47(1): 1–12.

Kerr CC, Rennie CJ and Robinson PA. Model-based

analysis and quantification of age trends in auditory evoked potentials. Clin Neurophysiol 2011; 122(1): 134–147.

Prado EL and Dewey KG. Nutrition and brain

development in early life. Nutr Rev 2014; 72(4): 267–284.

Georgieff MK, Brunette KE and Tran PV. Early life

nutrition and neural plasticity. Dev Psychopathol 2015; 27(2): 411–423.

World Health Organisation, 2019. Breastfeeding.

Available from https://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/exclusive_breastfeeding/en/

Adewuyi EO, Adefemi K and Adewuyi EO.

Breastfeeding in Nigeria: A systematic review. Int J Community Med Public Health 2016; 3(2): 385–396.

Binns C, Lee M and Low WY. The Long-Term Public

Health Benefits of Breastfeeding. Asia-Pac J Public He 2016; 28(1): 7–14.

Chowdhury R, Sinha B, Sankar MJ, Taneja S, Bhandari

N, Rollins N, Bahl R and Martines J. Breastfeeding and maternal health outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Acta Paediatr 2015; 104(467): 96–113.

United Nations Children's Fund. (2011). Improving

Exclusive Breastfeeding Practices by using Communication for Development in Infant and Young Child Feeding Programmes, (June 2010), 2011. Available from https://www.unicef.org/C4D_in_EBF_manual__6_15_2010_final.pdf

United Nations Children's Fund. Innocenti Declaration

on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding 2005.Available from https://www.unicef.org/nutrition/index_24807.html

Binns C, Lee M and Low WY. The Long-Term Public

Health Benefits of Breastfeeding. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health 2016; 28(1): 7–14.

World Health Organization. Guideline: protecting,

promoting and supporting breastfeeding in facilities providing maternity and newborn services. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2017. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK487819/

Victora CG, Bahl R, Barros AJD, França GVA, Horton

S, Krasevec J, Murch S, Sankar MJ, Walker N and Rollins NC. Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms, and lifelong effect. Lancet 2016; 387: 475–490.

Mgongo M, Mosha MV, Uriyo JG, Msuya SE and Stray-

Pedersen B. Prevalence and predictors of exclusive breastfeeding among women in Kilimanjaro region, Northern Tanzania: a population based cross-sectional study. Int Breastfed J 2013; 8(12): 2-8.

Sholeye OO, Abosede OA, and Salako AA. Exclusive

Breastfeeding and Its Associated Factors among Mothers in Sagamu, Southwest Nigeria. J Health Sci 2015; 5(2): 25–31.

United Nations Children's Fund and World Health

Organisaton. Tracking Progress towards Universal Coverage for Reproductive, Newborn and Child Health: The 2017 Report, 2017. Available from https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Countdown-2030.pdf

Institut National de la Statistique (INS) et ICF.

International Enquête Démographique et de Santé et à Indicateurs Multiples du Cameroun 2019. Yaoundé, Cameroun et Rockville, Maryland USA. INS & ICF, 2019

Niger - Exclusive breastfeeding. UNICEF, State of the

World's Children, Childinfo, and Demographic and Health Surveys. Available from https://data.unicef.org/country/ner/

Agence Nationale de la Statistique et de la Démographie

(ANSD) [Senegal], and ICF International. Continuous Demographic and Health Survey in Senegal (Continuous DHS) 2012-2013. Dakar, Senegal & Calverton Maryland, ANSD and ICF International, 2013

Ogbo FA, Agho KE and Page A. Determinants of

suboptimal breastfeeding practices in Nigeria: Evidence from the 2008 demographic and health survey. BMC Public Health 2015; 15(1): 1–12.

National Population Commission (NPC) [Nigeria] and

ICF International. Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey 2018. Abuja, Nigeria, and Rockville, Maryland, USA: NPC and ICF International, 2019

National Population Commission (NPC) [Nigeria] and

ICF International. Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey 2013. Abuja, Nigeria, and Rockville, Maryland, USA: NPC and ICF International, 2014.

National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and United Nations

Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Nigeria: Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2016-17. Abuja, Nigeria: National Bureau of Statistics and United Nations Children’s Fund. National Survey Findings Report, 2018.

World Health Organization & United Nations children's

Fund. Global nutrition targets 2025: breastfeeding policy brief, 2014.

Bergmann R, Bergmann K, von Weizsäcker K, Berns M,

Henrich W and Dudenhausen JW. Breastfeeding is natural but not always easy: intervention for common medical problems of breastfeeding mothers – a review of the scientific evidence. J Perinat Med 2013; 42(1): 9-18.

Tohotoa J, Maycock B, Hauck YL Howat P, Burns S and

Binns CW. Dads make a difference: An exploratory study of paternal support for breastfeeding in Perth, Western Australia. Int Breastfeed J 2009; 4(15): 1–9.

Yang X, Gao L, Ip W and Chan WCS. Predictors of

breastfeeding self-efficacy in the immediate postpartum period: A cross-sectional study. Midwifery 2016; 41: 1-8.

Abbass-Dick J, Stern S, Nelson L, Watson W and Dennis

C. Coparenting Breastfeeding Support and Exclusive Breastfeeding: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Pediatrics 2015; 135(1): 102-110.

Aubel J. The role and influence of grandmothers on child

nutrition: culturally designated advisors and caregivers. Matern Child Nutr 2012; 8(1): 19–35.

Bezner KR, Dakishoni L, Shumba L, Msachi R and

Chirwa M. ‘‘We Grandmothers Know Plenty’’: breastfeeding, complementary feeding and the multifaceted role of grandmothers in Malawi. Soc Sci Med 2008; 66(5): 1095–1105.

Mukuria AG, Martin SL, Egondi T, Bingham A and

Thuita FM. Role of Social Support in Improving Infant Feeding Practices in Western Kenya: A Quasi-Experimental Study. Global Health: Science and Practice 2016; 4(1): 55-72

Bich TH, Hoa DTP and Målqvist, M. Fathers as

supporters for improved exclusive breastfeeding in Viet Nam. Matern Child Health J 2014; 18(6): 1444–1453.

Su M and Ouyang YQ. Father’s Role in Breastfeeding

Promotion: Lessons from a Quasi-Experimental Trial in China. Breastfeeding Med 2016; 11(3), 144–149.

Susin LR and Giugliani ER. Inclusion of fathers in an

intervention to promote breastfeeding: impact on breastfeeding rates. J Hum Lact 2008; 24(4): 386–453.

Yadav R and Pathak GS. Intention to Purchase Organic

Food among Young Consumers: Evidences from a Developing Nation. Appetite 2016; 96: 122-128

Collins SE and Carey KB. The theory of planned

behavior as a model of heavy episodic drinking among college students. Psychol Addict Behav 2007; 21(4): 498–507.

Bai Y, Middlestadt SE, Peng CY and Fly AD. Predictors

of continuation of exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. J Hum Lact 2010; 26(1): 26-34.

Guo JI, Wang TF, Liao JY and Huang CM. Efficacy of

the theory of planned behaviour in predicting breastfeeding: meta-analyses and structural equation modeling. Appl Nurs Res 2016; 29: 37-42.

Ismail TAT, Wan Muda WA and Bakar MI. The

extended Theory of Planned Behavior in explaining exclusive breastfeeding intention and behavior among women in Kelantan, Malaysia. Nutr Res Pract 2016; 10(1): 49–55.

Harwood K. Intent of Expecting Fathers to Encourage

Breastfeeding, Perceptions of Support and Barriers to Encouraging Breastfeeding (2011). Nutrition & Health Sciences Dissertations & Theses. 22

Patch CS, Tapsell LC and Williams PG. Attitudes and

intentions toward purchasing novel foods enriched with omega-3 fatty acids. J. Nutr. Educ. Behav 2005; 37: 235–241.

Ajzen I. The theory of planned behaviour. Organ Behav

Hum Decis Process 1991; 50(2): 179-211.

Fishbein M and Ajzen I. Belief, attitude, intention, and

behavior: An introduction to theory and research. Reading, MA: AddisonóWesley, 1975.

Ajzen I. Constructing a theory of planned behavior

questionnaire. MA: Amherst, 2006.

Ajzen I. Attitudes, personality, and behavior. Chicago:

Dorsey Press, 1988.

Ajzen I and Fishbein M. Understanding Attitudes and

Predicting Social Behavior. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice- Hall, 1980.

Faul F, Erdfelder E, Lang A and Buchner, A. G*Power

: A flexible statistical power analysis program for the social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences. Behav. Res. Methods, 2007; 39(2): 175-191.

Francis J, Eccles MP, Johnston M, Walker AE,

Grimshaw M, Foy R, Kaner EFS, Smith L and Bonetti D. Constructing Questionnaires based on the theory of planned behaviour: A manual for health services researchers, Newcastle uponTyne: United Kingdom, 2004.

Bich TH. Changes of knowledge, attitude and practice of

fathers regarding supporting six months exclusive breastfeeding: Results of a community-based intervention applying social cognitive theory. J Health Dev Stud 2018; 1(02-2017): 19-28.

Wahyutri E, Jasmawati J, Dharma KK and Ratnawati R.

The effect of infant feeding planning education on nutrition and breastfeeding knowledge, mother’s attitude, and husband’s support to expectant mother. Journal of Nursing Education & Practice 2018; 8(1): 87-93.

Furman L, Killpack S, Matthews L, Davis V and

O'Riordan MA. Engaging Inner-City Fathers in Breastfeeding Support. Breastfeeding Med 2016; 11(1): 15–20.

Bich TH and Cuong NM. Changes in knowledge,

attitude and involvement of fathers in supporting exclusive breastfeeding: a community-based intervention study in a rural area of Vietnam. Int. J. Public Health 2017; 62(1):17-26.

Mithani Y, Premani ZS, Kurji Z and Rashid S. (2015).

Exploring Fathers' Role in Breastfeeding Practices in the Urban and Semiurban Settings of Karachi, Pakistan. Journal Perinat Educ; 24(4): 249-60.

Yurtsal ZB and Kocoglu G. The effects of antenatal

parental breastfeeding education and counseling on the duration of breastfeeding, and maternal and paternal attachment. Integrative Food, Nutrition & Metabolism 2015; 2(4): 222-230.

Bich TH, Long TK and Hoa DP. Community‐based

father education intervention on breastfeeding practice—Results of a quasi‐experimental study. Matern Child Nutr 2019; 15(Suppl): e12705


  • There are currently no refbacks.