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Soc Sci Med. 2009 Mar;68(5):845-9. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2008.12.032. Epub 2009 Jan 10.

Studying the infant feeding intentions of pregnant women experiencing material deprivation: methodology of the Looking at Infant Feeding Today (LIFT) study.

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  • 1University of York, Heslington, York, UK.


The Looking at Infant Feeding Today (LIFT) study examined the factors underlying the infant feeding choices of first-time mothers in the Leeds and Bradford areas of England experiencing material hardship, with a view to informing interventions aimed at increasing breastfeeding uptake amongst this group. This short report describes the novel methodology used to obtain data from a sample of pregnant women who are traditionally 'hard-to-reach' in deprived areas. This involved the use of trusted individuals such as midwives and multilingual health workers. A total of 449 women were approached; 441 (91.5%) agreed to participate and 303 returned completed questionnaires. Whilst 285 participants self-completed, 18 opted for interviewer assistance provided by a trained multilingual health worker. Feeding method up to 10 days after birth was obtained from the hospital records of 248 women (82.4% of eligible returns), and self-reported feeding method at six weeks was obtained from 273 women (90.7% of eligible returns). The study succeeded in obtaining data from a relatively deprived and hard-to-reach sample, with adequate numbers of participants in the subgroups of interest (teenage, left full time education age 16 or younger, household receiving income support or job seekers allowance, Asian or African-Caribbean).

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