Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Breastfeeding-Decision-making, Bottle feeding-Decision-making, Mother and child, Breastfeeding, Formula feeding, Mother and child support


Mothers often find themselves under supported after the birth of a baby. This mixed method research study examines the factors that are considered influential to new mothers when making their initial infant feeding choice between breastfeeding and bottle feeding. This study presents the data from 1017 mothers who self identified as either primarily breast feeding mothers or bottle feeding mothers and indicated which biological, social, circumstantial, financial, psychological, and medical factors were the most influential in their choice. Both the breastfeeding and the bottle feeding samples consistently ranked health of the baby as the most influential factor. Bottle feeding mothers stated that the primary reason they chose to bottle feed was either low milk supply or inability to latch, both of which can be drastically improved through proper support both within the lactation professional capacity and in social policies that target supporting mothers.




iv, 64 pages : color illustrations. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, 2014. Includes bibliographical references (pages 55-58)