Influence of Intimate Partner Violence During Pregnancy and Early Postpartum Depressive Symptoms on Breastfeeding Among Chinese Women in Hong Kong


  • Ying Lau RN, RM, IBCLC, PhD,

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    • Ying Lau, RN, RM, IBCLC, B. Soc Sci, BN (Hon), MN, PhD, is Associate Professor in the School of Health Sciences at Macao Polytechnic Institute and her current research interests include family violence, breastfeeding, antenatal, and postnatal depression.

  • Kin Sin Chan M Phil, PhD

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    • Kin Sin Chan, B. Soc Sci (Hons), M. Phil, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Finance at The University of Macau and his current research interests include statistics technology, public health, and aging.

Ying Lau, RN, RM, IBCLC, PhD, 12B, Ho King View, 2 Braemar Hill Road, North Point, Hong Kong Special Administration Region (SAR), China. E-mail:


Numerous studies show that breastfeeding is beneficial to both mothers and babies. This study explores two understudied correlates that may influence breastfeeding initiation: intimate partner violence during pregnancy and early postnatal depressive symptoms. A cross-sectional comparative study design investigated the correlates of feeding modes of 1200 Chinese mother and infant pairs in a university-affiliated regional hospital in Hong Kong. The prevalence rates of breastfeeding and mixed feeding were 42.25% and 26.25%, respectively. Women who had no experience of intimate partner violence during pregnancy were significantly more likely to initiate breastfeeding (adjusted odds ratio = 1.84; 95% confidence interval, 1.16–2.91) after adjustment for demographic, socioeconomic, and obstetric variables. Early postnatal depressive symptoms were not significantly associated with feeding modes in a multinomial logistic regression model. Midwives are in a key position to identify and intervene to encourage more successful breastfeeding practice.