Fathers and breastfeeding support (Ethiopia)

breastfeeding in Ethiopia

A study in the Misha woreda of southern Ethiopia examined factors associated with fathers being involved in supporting breastfeeding. 417 mothers of babies less than six months were interviewed, randomly selected from six communities, five rural and one urban.

Factors associated with breastfeeding support were the father having a higher education, being monogamous, the father attending a health facility and the presence of media information in the home.

The researchers asked mothers 11 questions about the father’s involvement:

  • Did he encourage the mother to attend the health service and counselling?
  • Did he enourage immediate initiation of breastfeeding?
  • Did he encourage colostrum feeding?
  • Did he discourage prelacteal feeding?
  • Did he encourage breastfeeding on demand day and night?
  • Did he encourage exclusive breastfeeding for six months?
  • Did he provide psychological support to the mother?
  • Did he help with care of children?
  • Did he help with housework?
  • Did he provide additional food for the mother?
  • Did he support breastfeeding in front of others or in public places?

72% of the fathers were considered by the mothers to achieve six or more of these.


Abera M, Abdulahi M & Wakayo T (2017), Fathers’ involvement in breast feeding practices and associated factors among households having children less than six months in Southern Ethiopia: a cross sectional study, Pediatrics & Therapeutics 7.1

Photo: UNICEF Ethiopia. Creative Commons.