• early postnatal depressive symptoms;
  • feeding modes;
  • Hong Kong Chinese;
  • intimate partner violence during pregnancy

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.