The Role of Family on Breastfeeding: A Scoping Review




Background: The role of the family in the breastfeeding process affects the success rate of breastfeeding, such as the closest family, namely the spouse and grandmother. Objective: To classify the scientific evidence related to the role of the family at large and the factors that may hinder the role of the family. Methods: This scoping review referred to Arksey and O'Malley's framework for exploring family roles in breastfeeding and used the PRISMA-ScR checklist. Articles were searched in three databases: PubMed, ProQuest, EBSCO, and Science Direct. Themes were identified by applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, performing a critical appraisal, data charting, reporting, and discussing the results. Results: A search of 2,292 articles found studies that were consistent with the findings that family support in breastfeeding, the role, attitude, and knowledge of parents, the presence of supplementary feeding, and partner violence in breastfeeding occurred in breastfeeding practices. Conclusion: This review describes the role of the family in breastfeeding and shows that the family plays an essential role in breastfeeding practices. The findings can make researchers and practitioners aware that various supporting factors and barriers influence breastfeeding. Future research is expected to evaluate the role of the family in breastfeeding.


Breastfeeding, Family, Review, Role


Download data is not yet available.


Abdulahi, M., Fretheim, A., Argaw, A., & Magnus, J. H. (2021). Breastfeeding education and support to improve early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding practices and infant growth: a cluster randomized controlled trial from a rural Ethiopian setting. Nutrients, 13(4), 1204.

Ahmadi, S., Kazemi, F., Masoumi, S. Z., Parsa, P., & Roshanaei, G. (2016). Intervention based on BASNEF model increases exclusive breastfeeding in preterm infants in Iran: a randomized controlled trial. International Breastfeeding Journal, 11(1), 1-10.

Arksey, H., & O’Malley, L. (2005). Scoping studies: towards a methodological framework. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 8(1), 19–32.

Asiodu, I. V., Waters, C. M., Dailey, D. E., & Lyndon, A. (2017). Infant Feeding Decision-Making and the Influences of Social Support Persons Among First-Time African American Mothers. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 21(4), 863–872.

Ayalew, T. (2020). Exclusive breastfeeding practice and associated factors among first-time mothers in Bahir Dar city, Northwest Ethiopia, removed: A community based cross sectional study. Heliyon, 6(9), e04732.

Barker, T. H., Stone, J. C., Sears, K., Klugar, M., Leonardi-Bee, J., Tufanaru, C., ... & Munn, Z. (2023). Revising the JBI quantitative critical appraisal tools to improve their applicability: an overview of methods and the development process. JBI Evidence Synthesis, 21(3), 478-493.

Bich, T. H., Long, T. K., & Hoa, D. P. (2019). Community‐based father education intervention on breastfeeding practice—Results of a quasi‐experimental study. Maternal & Child Nutrition, 15, e12705.

Bisi-onyemaechi, A. I., Chikani, U. N., Ubesie, A. C., Chime, P. U., & Mbanefo, N. R. (2017). Factors associated with low rate of exclusive breastfeeding among mothers in Enugu, Nigeria. International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 5(9), 3776.

Bueno-Gutiérrez, D., Castillo, E. U. R., & Mondragón, A. E. H. (2021). Breastfeeding counseling based on formative research at primary healthcare Services in Mexico. International Journal for Equity in Health, 20, 1-11.

Bulemela, J., Mapunda, H., Snelgrove-Clarke, E., MacDonald, N., & Bortolussi, R. (2019). Supporting breastfeeding: Tanzanian men’s knowledge and attitude towards exclusive breastfeeding. International Breastfeeding Journal, 14(1), 1-7.

Claesson, I. M., Larsson, L., Steen, L., & Alehagen, S. (2018). “You just need to leave the room when you breastfeed” Breastfeeding experiences among obese women in Sweden–A qualitative study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 18, 1-10.

Crippa, B. L., Consales, A., Morniroli, D., Lunetto, F., Bettinelli, M. E., Sannino, P., ... & Colombo, L. (2021). From dyad to triad: a survey on fathers’ knowledge and attitudes toward breastfeeding. European Journal of Pediatrics, 180, 2861-2869.

Demirci, J., Caplan, E., Murray, N., & Cohen, S. (2018). “I Just Want to Do Everything Right:” Primiparous Women’s Accounts of Early Breastfeeding via an App-Based Diary. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 32(2), 163–172.

Dinour, L. M., & Pole, A. (2022). Evaluation of Breastfeeding App Features: Content Analysis Study. JMIR Pediatrics and Parenting, 5(4), e37581.

Draman, N., Mohamad, N., Yusoff, H. M., & Muhamad, R. (2017). The decision of breastfeeding practices among parents attending primary health care facilities in suburban Malaysia. Journal of Taibah University Medical Sciences, 12(5), 412-417.

Emmott, E. H., & Mace, R. (2015). Practical support from fathers and grandmothers is associated with lower levels of breastfeeding in the UK millennium cohort study. PLoS One, 10(7), e0133547.

Fadjriah, R. N., Krisnasari, S., & Gugu, Y. (2021). Relationship between family social support and exclusive breastfeeding behavior at talise health center, indonesia. Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, 9(E), 312-316.

Gebremariam, K. T., Zelenko, O., Mulugeta, A., & Gallegos, D. (2021). A cross-sectional comparison of breastfeeding knowledge, attitudes, and perceived partners’ support among expectant couples in Mekelle, Ethiopia. International Breastfeeding Journal, 16(1), 1-8.

Gerhardsson, E., Oras, P., Mattsson, E., Blomqvist, Y. T., & Funkquist, E. L. (2023). Health care professionals report positive experience with a breastfeeding training program based on the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative for Neonatal Intensive Care. Journal of Neonatal Nursing, 29(1), 75-80.

Hauck, Y. L., Kuliukas, L., Gallagher, L., Brady, V., Dykes, C., & Rubertsson, C. (2020). Helpful and challenging aspects of breastfeeding in public for women living in Australia, Ireland and Sweden: a cross-sectional study. International Breastfeeding Journal, 15, 1-14.

Hernández-Cordero, S., Lozada-Tequeanes, A. L., Fernández-Gaxiola, A. C., Shamah-Levy, T., Sachse, M., Veliz, P., & Cosío-Barroso, I. (2020). Barriers and facilitators to breastfeeding during the immediate and one month postpartum periods, among Mexican women: a mixed methods approach. International Breastfeeding Journal, 15(1), 1-12.

Ismail, T. A. T., Muda, W. A. M. W., & Bakar, M. I. (2016). The extended theory of planned behavior in explaining exclusive breastfeeding intention and behavior among women in Kelantan, Malaysia. Nutrition Research and Practice, 10(1), 49–55.

Johansson, M., Östlund, P., Holmqvist, C., & Wells, M. B. (2022). Family life starts at home: Fathers’ experiences of a newly implemented Swedish home-based postnatal care model–an interview study. Midwifery, 105, 103199.

Kjerulff Madsen, F., Holm-Larsen, C. E., Wu, C., Rogathi, J., Manongi, R., Mushi, D., ... & Rasch, V. (2019). Intimate partner violence and subsequent premature termination of exclusive breastfeeding: A cohort study. PLoS One, 14(6), e0217479.

Liu, K., Guo, J., Deng, W., & Su, Y. (2022). The Current Status of Breastfeeding Knowledge and Its Influencing Factors in Nursing Undergraduates: A Cross-Sectional Study in China. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20(1), 103.

Mahesh, P. K. B., Gunathunga, M. W., Arnold, S. M., Jayasinghe, C., Pathirana, S., Makarim, M. F., ... & Senanayake, S. J. (2018). Effectiveness of targeting fathers for breastfeeding promotion: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Public Health, 18, 1-14.

Mannion, C. A., Hobbs, A. J., McDonald, S. W., & Tough, S. C. (2013). Maternal perceptions of partner support during breastfeeding. International Breastfeeding Journal, 8(1), 1-7. Accessed on 1st March, 2023.

Martin, C. R., Ling, P. R., & Blackburn, G. L. (2016). Review of infant feeding: key features of breast milk and infant formula. Nutrients, 8(5), 279.

Mesters, I., Gijsbers, B., & Bartholomew, L. K. (2018). Promoting sustained breastfeeding of infants at risk for asthma: Explaining the “active ingredients” of an effective program using intervention mapping. Frontiers in Public Health, 6, 87.

Moraes, C. L., de Oliveira, A. S., Reichenheim, M. E., & Lobato, G. (2011). Severe physical violence between intimate partners during pregnancy: a risk factor for early cessation of exclusive breast-feeding. Public Health Nutrition, 14(12), 2148-2155.

Munn, Z., Peters, M. D., Stern, C., Tufanaru, C., McArthur, A., & Aromataris, E. (2018). Systematic review or scoping review? Guidance for authors when choosing between a systematic or scoping review approach. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 18, 1-7.

Negin, J., Coffman, J., Vizintin, P., & Raynes-Greenow, C. (2016). The influence of grandmothers on breastfeeding rates: a systematic review. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 16, 1-10.

Nguyen, P. H., Menon, P., Keithly, S. C., Kim, S. S., Hajeebhoy, N., Tran, L. M., Ruel, M. T., & Rawat, R. (2014). Program impact pathway analysis of a social franchise model shows potential to improve infant and young child feeding practices in Vietnam. Journal of Nutrition, 144(10), 1627–1636.

Nilsson, I., Busck-Rasmussen, M., Rossau, H. K., & Villadsen, S. F. (2022). Breastfeeding trajectories of young and short-term educated mothers and their partners; experiences of a journey facing tailwind and headwind. Midwifery, 113, 103436.

Nisa, F., Damayanti, N. A., & Anggraini, F. D. (2020). Exclusive breastfeeding village program increased the role of health cadres. Journal of Public Health Research, 9(2), 137–139.

Normann, A. K., Bakiewicz, A., Madsen, F. K., Khan, K. S., Rasch, V., & Linde, D. S. (2020). Intimate partner violence and breastfeeding: a systematic review. BMJ Open, 10(10), e034153.

Panahi, F., Rashidi Fakari, F., Nazarpour, S., Lotfi, R., Rahimizadeh, M., Nasiri, M., & Simbar, M. (2022). Educating fathers to improve exclusive breastfeeding practices: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Health Services Research, 22(1), 554.

Rahayu, D., & Yunarsih, Y. (2017, October). Support system on successful exclusive breastfeeding on primipara based on theory of maternal role attainment. In Health Science International Conference (HSIC 2017) (pp. 411-415). Atlantis Press.

Rasoli, H., Masoudy, G., Ansari, H., & Bagheri, H. (2020). Effect of Education Based on Extended Theory of Planned Behavior on Exclusive Breastfeeding in Pregnant Women in Darmian in 2017. Health Scope, 9(3), e100277.

Saade, S., Flacking, R., & Ericson, J. (2022). Parental experiences and breastfeeding outcomes of early support to new parents from family health care centres—a mixed method study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 22(1), 150.

Sağlam, N. Ö., Bülbül, L., Kazancı, S. Y., & Hatipoğlu, S. S. (2019). Factors affecting breastfeeding and complementary feeding choices for children aged 24 to 48 months. Şişli Etfal Hastanesi tıp Bülteni, 53(2), 165-171.

Sandhi, A., Lee, G. T., Chipojola, R., Huda, M. H., & Kuo, S. Y. (2020). The relationship between perceived milk supply and exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months postpartum: a cross-sectional study. International Breastfeeding Journal, 15(1), 1-11.

Sultana, M., Dhar, S., Hasan, T., Shill, L. C., Purba, N. H., Chowdhury, A. I., & Shuvo, S. D. (2022). Knowledge, attitudes, and predictors of exclusive breastfeeding practice among lactating mothers in Noakhali, Bangladesh. Heliyon, 8(10).

Suryaningsih, E. K., Gau, M. L., & Wantonoro. (2020). Concept analysis of maternal-fetal attachment. Belitung Nursing Journal, 6(5), 157–164.

Thet, M. M., Khaing, E. E., Diamond-Smith, N., Sudhinaraset, M., Oo, S., & Aung, T. (2016). Barriers to exclusive breastfeeding in the Ayeyarwaddy Region in Myanmar: Qualitative findings from mothers, grandmothers, and husbands. Appetite, 96, 62-69.

Uddin, M. F., Jabeen, I., Islam, M. A., Rahman, M., Chisti, M. J., Ahmed, T., & Sarma, H. (2022). Barriers to breastfeeding are shaped by sociocultural context: an exploratory qualitative study in Bangladesh. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, 41(1), 1-13.

van Dellen, S. A., Wisse, B., Mobach, M. P., & Dijkstra, A. (2019). The effect of a breastfeeding support programme on breastfeeding duration and exclusivity: a quasi-experiment. BMC Public Health, 19(1), 993.

Walters, C. N., Rakotomanana, H., Komakech, J. J., & Stoecker, B. J. (2021). Maternal experience of intimate partner violence is associated with suboptimal breastfeeding practices in Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia: insights from a DHS analysis. International Breastfeeding Journal, 16(1), 1-12.

Winifred Nwabuaku, K., & Perpetua Onyinye, E. (2020). Socio-cultural drivers and barriers to adoption of Exclusive Breast-Feeding among Mothers in Rural Communities of Imo State, Nigeria. International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, 11(5), 313-322.

World Health Organization. (2012). Global Targets Tracking Tool., Accessed on 25th February, 2023.

World Health Organization. (n.d.). Breastfeeding. Accessed on 17th February, 2023.

You, H., Lei, A., Xiang, J., Wang, Y., Luo, B., & Hu, J. (2020). Effects of breastfeeding education based on the self-efficacy theory on women with gestational diabetes mellitus. Medicine, 99(16), e19643.

Zakar, R., Zakar, M. Z., Zaheer, L., & Fischer, F. (2018). Exploring parental perceptions and knowledge regarding breastfeeding practices in Rajanpur, Punjab Province, Pakistan. International Breastfeeding Journal, 13(1), 1-12.



How to Cite

Jusrawati, J., & Suryaningsih, E. K. (2023). The Role of Family on Breastfeeding: A Scoping Review. The Malaysian Journal of Nursing (MJN), 15(1), 138-151.