INFANT FEEDING PRACTICES: THE CASE OF HMONG WOMEN IN AUSTRALIA Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • I discuss infant feeding beliefs and practices among Hmong women in Melbourne, focusing particularly on changed patterns that have occurred since their settlement in Australia. Traditionally, Hmong women breastfeed their newborn infants. Most women can breastfeed successfully in their homeland. However, since their settlement in a new country, some women have changed to bottlefeeding. Reasons given include the need to study English and seek employment, the availability of infant formula, insufficient milk, and their concern about the health and well-being of the infants. Hmong women either choose breast- or bottlefeeding based on what they think is best for their babies; their clear intention is to have children who will be healthy and thrive. Understanding of women's beliefs and practices relating to feeding is essential in creating a breastfeeding campaign. More importantly, the information will assist health professionals to support mothers in their choice of a feeding method, whether it be breast or bottle.

publication date

  • January 2002