A new model of father support to promote breastfeeding

Nigel Sherriff, Christina Panton, Valerie Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research shows that fathers can have a considerable influence on a mother’s decision to initiate and continue with breastfeeding. Despite this, many health professionals and broader care services (including maternity services) fail to engage meaningfully and systematically with fathers in supporting breastfeeding. Although the importance of the father’s role in supporting breastfeeding has been known for some time, little is known about the nature of this support. No clear delineation of which behaviours and attributes constitute father support, or differentiate it from other kinds of support, is provided in the current literature base. The purpose of this study was to analyse empirically the concept of ‘father support’ in relation to maternity services and broader health settings. It aimed to clarify the meaning of ‘father support’ to enable comprehension and application in practice, education and research. As a result, we present a new model of father support to promote breastfeeding, and focus specifically on some of the practical implications for health practitioners in supporting breastfeeding couples.
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)20-24
Number of pages5
JournalCommunity Pract
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2014


  • Breastfeeding
  • fathers
  • support
  • health promotion
  • qualitative research

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