Understanding adolescent mothers' feelings about breast-feeding. A study of perceived benefits and barriers

Susan M. Radius, Alain Joffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This study was designed to assess the benefits and barriers accruing to breast-feeding as perceived by pregnant adolescents, and to establish whether these perceptions distinguished between adolescent mothers who chose to breast versus bottle feed. Surveys were completed by 254 young women attending prenatal clinics. Overall, 19.3% indicated their intent to breast-feed. When categorized by intended method of infant feeding (breast versus bottle), breast-feeding mothers cited more benefits and fewer barriers associated with that method of infant feeding. Overall, perceived benefits were more successful than perceived barriers in distinguishing between the groups of respondents. For those interested in promoting breast-feeding among adolescent mothers, our data support an emphasis on the diverse benefits of this method of infant feeding. Our results also suggest the usefulness of peer role models in correcting misinformation and encouraging breast-feeding among adolescent mothers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-160
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1988


  • Breast-feeding
  • Infant nutrition
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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