Breastfeeding: How Could it be Enhanced? The Perceptions of Vietnamese Women in Sydney, Australia


  • Joh Chin Rossiter RN, CM, PhD, BSc, ADNEd,

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    • Joh Chin Rossiter has been in clinical midwifery and nursing practice for 22 years. Since 1985, she has served as a senior lecturer and associate professor at the University of Western Sydney, Nepean and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, respectively. She attained her PhD degree from the University of Sydney in 1995.

  • Bernard M.C. Yam RN, MA, BA, BAppSc (Adv Nurs)

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    • Bernard Yam migrated to Australia soon after his nursing education in Hong Kong. He has been involved in clinical practice and nurse education for the past 16 years in Australia and Hong Kong. He is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Nursing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

32 Lloyd George Ave., Winston Hills, NSW 2153, Australia.


In Australia, the prevalence and duration of breastfeeding is on the decline. The low incidence of breastfeeding includes the immigrant Vietnamese. The purpose of this study was to examine Vietnamese women's perceptions of factors that might influence their choice of infant feeding and how breastfeeding could be promoted and maintained by nurses, midwives, other health professionals, and the health care system as a whole.

A convenience sample of 124 postnatal Vietnamese women from community agencies in western and southwestern suburbs of Sydney was interviewed. Content analysis showed that factors that affect their choice of infant feeding method were language difficulties in communicating with health professionals concerning breastfeeding, lack of social support and follow-up care, and attitudes of health professionals toward breastfeeding. To promote and maintain breastfeeding within the Vietnamese community in Sydney, Australia, appropriate health care planning and implementation based on their social, cultural, and language backgrounds and practices need to be considered.