Publication Date



breastfeeding, lactation, infant food, maternal behavior, self-concept


Introduction: Breastfeeding (BF) is recognized as the preferred method of infant nutrition by American Academy of Pediatricians, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the World Health Organization. Despite the benefits of BF, in 1998 only 69% of new mothers in the United States initiated BF and 29% continued to breastfeed at 6 months.

Objective: To assess perceived breastfeeding confidence (BFC) and determine barriers in regards to BF in an urban population.

Methods: The Breastfeeding Personal Efficacy Beliefs Inventory (BPEBI) was used to determine perceived BFC. The survey was distributed to 271 women during prenatal appointments at an urban Milwaukee medical center. BF initiation rate at discharge was determined by records review. A principal component factor analysis with varimax rotation was used to examine the structure of the BPEBI in this population.

Results: Survey response rate was 89%. Overall BFC was 74%. BF initiation rate at discharge was 62%, exclusively BF (EBF) at discharge (no bottle-feeding) was 55%. In multivariate models, EBF decreased with black race (p=0.02) and with residence in the low socioeconomic status zip codes of the central city of Milwaukee (p=0.01). BFC increased with prior exposure to BF (p=0.03), EBF (p=0.03) and length of BF (p=0.02). Factor analysis identified two constructs: BFC increased with prior exposure to BF (p=0.006) and EBF (p=0.001) within the motivation construct, and BFC increased with EBF (p=0.000) within the technique/environment construct.

Conclusions: The main barriers to increased BFC were lack of prior exposure to BF and nonexclusive breastfeeding practices. BF initiation rate at discharge was low compared to self-reported level of confidence. EBF decreased with black race and with closer proximity to the central city of Milwaukee.




June 4th, 2014


June 11th, 2014


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.