Battering and breastfeeding in a WIC population

Can J Nurs Res. 2001 Mar;32(4):43-56.


The study reported in this paper was based on the hypothesis that women who are victims of domestic violence may be less likely to select breastfeeding than women who are not abused. Informed consent was obtained from 212 women at 2 Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutritional Supplemental Program clinics in the Midwestern United States. The Abuse Assessment Screen was administered by interview and women were also questioned about intended feeding choice and whether they had breastfed any previous children. No association was found between present or previous abuse and infant-feeding choice. Nevertheless, the findings of this study can be considered important, for two reasons: (1) this was an initial inquiry examining the relationship between having been abused and ability to choose the feeding method of a newborn; and (2) women in the sample who reported present or current abuse were able to breastfeed their infants in the same proportion as those who did not report abuse, which suggests that a woman's concern for her child overcomes her possible fears of control by the batterer.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Battered Women / education
  • Battered Women / psychology*
  • Breast Feeding / psychology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Food Services
  • Health Education
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Jealousy
  • Midwestern United States
  • Needs Assessment
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Social Support
  • Spouse Abuse / diagnosis
  • Spouse Abuse / psychology*
  • Spouses / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires