Association Between Healthcare Provider Type and Intent to Breastfeed Among Expectant Mothers

Elizabeth Balyakina, Kimberly G. Fulda, Susan F. Franks, Kathryn M. Cardarelli, Kollier Hinkle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background The primary purpose of this study was to determine the association between type of healthcare provider delivering prenatal care and intent to exclusively breastfeed. Methods A self-report survey was administered to 455 expectant mothers. Logistic regression was performed to determine the association between prenatal care provider type [obstetrician; other primary care physician (family doctor/general practitioner/internist/or other physician); midwife/nurse midwife; more than one provider; and other] with intent to breastfeed (exclusive/non-exclusive). Results Having a midwife/nurse midwife as a prenatal care provider was associated with intent to breastfeed compared to having an obstetrician (OR 2.544, 95 % CI 1.385–4.675). There was no difference in intent between women with another primary care physician and an obstetrician. Women with another type of health care provider, no prenatal care from a health professional, or no knowledge of who is providing prenatal care were less likely to intend to breastfeed (OR 0.228, CI 0.068–0.766) as compared to those with an obstetrician. Discussion/Conclusions Provider type is associated with intent to breastfeed among pregnant women. Women’s intent to breastfeed is an important predictor of breastfeeding initiation, continuation, and duration that may be assessed by healthcare providers during the prenatal period. A consideration of what features of provider care are associated with improved breastfeeding outcomes and characteristics of women seeking prenatal care with midwives may serve to formulate future prenatal care policies and education during prenatal care visits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)993-1000
Number of pages8
JournalMaternal and Child Health Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Breastfeeding
  • Healthcare provider
  • Intent to breastfeed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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