South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition

The AJOL site is currently undergoing a major upgrade, and there will temporarily be some restrictions to the available functionality.
-- Users will not be able to register or log in during this period.
-- Full text (PDF) downloads of Open Access journal articles will be available as always.
-- Full text (PDF) downloads of subscription based journal articles will NOT be available
We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Please check back soon, as we will revert to usual policy as soon as possible.

Factors influencing high socio-economic class mothers’ decision regarding formula-feeding practices in the Cape Metropole

M Sowden, D Marais, R Marais


The aims of the study were to identify the reasons why high socio-economic class women in the Cape Metropole decide not to breast-feed;
to evaluate whether the type and volume of infant formula selected by the mother was appropriate for her infant’s current age and to identify the factors that influence the decision-making process when deciding which infant formula to feed her infant. An observational descriptive study with consecutive sampling was utilised. Data of 55 mothers with infants aged 0 to 6 months that were not currently breast-fed was captured in day care centres and private clinics situated in the Cape Metropole. Data was collected by means of a self-administered questionnaire available in Afrikaans and English. The majority of mothers (80%) decided only after the birth of their infant to rather opt for formula feeding. Evident factors that were identified as barriers to breast-feeding include a lack of knowledge and experience (38%) as well as a lack of facilities at public places (75%) and at work (71%) to breast-feed. Perceived benefits of infant formula included that the father could help with the workload (67%) and does not feel left out (38%), the mother knows what volume of milk is received (84%) and the convenience if the mother is working (64%). The mothers were overall not concerned about possible side-effects of breast-feeding and did not feel that their breasts were physically not of optimal physiology to breast-feed. One of the greatest challenges to support, protect and promote breast-feeding is to ensure that information sources give scientifically correct information to the uninformed or information-seeking mother in a standardised and positive manner.
AJOL African Journals Online