Rhetoric or reality? Father support in promoting breastfeeding

Nigel Sherriff, Valerie Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fathers have an important but overlooked role in supporting their breastfeeding partner given that their support can have a considerable impact on rates of breastfeeding initiation and continuance. Fathers remain a valuable yet ‘untapped’ resource for breastfeeding mothers, as well as for health professionals (and lay people) whom may be supporting breastfeeding in both clinical and community settings. In this article we summarise the research regarding insights into why fathers should be included in public services intended for the family including maternity services. We also summarise some of the main issues regarding what excludes fathers from these services (such as gender-based discourses about men and fathers). Finally, we then propose how fathers can be included more meaningfully by health professionals particularly in relation to supporting breastfeeding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-22
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Birth and Parent Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2014


  • fathers
  • breastfeeding
  • resource
  • health professional
  • public services


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