Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Zhou Q, Younger KM & Kearney JM (2009) Breastfeeding practices in China and Ireland: the Chinese Mothers in Ireland Survey. Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism 55 (suppl 1), 234.


Rationale & Objectives: Migration to another country may contribute to some changes in breastfeeding practices. This study explored the breastfeeding practices of immigrant Chinese mothers in China and following migration to Ireland, where breastfeeding is far less prevalent (43% initiation).

Materials & Methods: A cross-sectional survey involving Chinese mothers who had given birth in Ireland (CMI) or in China (CMC).

Results & Findings: Analyses was conducted on 285 completed questionnaires. 72 % of the sample breastfed their infants with no differences between CMI (71%) and CMC (78%) (P>0.05). However, breastfeeding rates at three months (62%) and six months (32%) for CMI were much lower than the corresponding rates for mothers who gave birth in China (CMC)(P<0.05). The main reason for CMI to stop breastfeeding was perceived insufficient breast-milk; however this was not the case for mothers who gave birth in China (CMC) as 96% of them used a special Chinese diet to increase breast-milk supply.

Conclusion: The consumption of the special Chinese diet may increase breastfeeding duration among Chinese mothers giving birth in Ireland.

Key words: breastfeeding, Chinese mothers, China, Ireland

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Postgraduate R& D Skill, Strand I