n Africa Journal of Nursing and Midwifery - Perceived roles of fathers in the promotion, support and protection of breastfeeding - article

Volume 20 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1682-5055



Fathers of young infants have a crucial role to play in the promotion, support and protection of breastfeeding as women often face many challenges during the post-partum period. The World Health Organization recommends paying particular attention to participation by the male partners in child and maternal health as they also have responsibilities and roles to play in nurturing their young ones and supporting their families. The focus of this research was to explore and to describe the perceived roles of fathers in the support, protection and promotion of breastfeeding. This study adopted a qualitative method using an explorative and descriptive design, and the sample included twelve fathers of infants aged less than six months at Schoonoord Village, Sekhukhune District, Limpopo province, South Africa. Using in-depth individual unstructured interviews, data were collected until data saturation was attained and analysed using Tesch’s open-coding method. The findings show that fathers perceive breastfeeding to be the optimum feeding choice for the baby and beneficial to the mother. Provision of emotional and financial support to the women, protection of the mother and the baby, motivation and assistance in seeking healthcare emerged as the key roles of fathers during the breastfeeding period. This study recommends that fathers be involved in breastfeeding counselling and that healthcare providers create an environment that is conducive to the participation of fathers in the topic of infant feeding.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error