AIMS The present study examined levels of support for public breastfeeding and sociodemographic correlates of public breastfeeding attitudes in New Zealand. METHOD Data (N=19,598) were from the 2016/17 New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study, a nationwide longitudinal panel study of the social attitudes of New Zealand adults aged 18 and older. The survey included an item measuring support for women breastfeeding in public alongside relevant sociodemographic variables. RESULTS Most New Zealanders (75.3%) supported breastfeeding in public, whereas a small minority (5.2%) were opposed (a further 19.5% were neutral on the issue). In terms of sociodemographic correlates of public breastfeeding support, men (relative to women), being older, identifying with a religion and being of Asian ethnicity (relative to European/Pākehā) were associated with lower support. Conversely, being a parent, having more children (given birth to, fathered or adopted), being in a serious romantic relationship, having attained higher education and being of Māori ethnicity (relative to European/Pākehā) were associated with greater support for public breastfeeding. CONCLUSIONS New Zealanders expressed high levels of support for public breastfeeding. Reliable sociodemographic correlates of public breastfeeding support were also identified. These results provide the first comprehensive overview of New Zealanders' support towards breastfeeding in public.
Yanshu Huang, D. Osborne, C. Sibley
The New Zealand medical journal