OBJECTIVE: To investigate feeding practices in infants under the age of 4 months in Liverpool, England with particular reference to the cost of infant feeding.
DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey consisting of self-completion questionnaires and interviews.
SETTING: Subjects' homes within Central and South Liverpool Primary Care Trust areas.
SUBJECTS: One hundred and forty-nine women (aged 18 to 43 years) and their infants (mean age 13 weeks).
RESULTS: The average weekly cost of breast-feeding was 11.58 pounds sterling compared with 9.60 pounds sterling for formula-feeding. Many breast- and formula-feeding women spent money however on items that were not needed or used only once or twice. This was especially true of first-time mothers. Characteristics significantly associated with higher spending were: feeding method - mothers that had or were partially breast-feeding (P=0.001), education - those educated to degree level (P=0.028), socio-economic status - those in social classes I and II (P=0.002) and age - those aged 30 years and over (P=0.003).
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that while breast-feeding is often promoted as being free, this is not the case. Better information needs to be given to parents to avoid wasting money on items that are unnecessary, or where cheaper alternatives are available.
- Age Factors
- Breast Feeding
- Costs and Cost Analysis
- Cross-Sectional Studies
- Infant Food/economics
- Infant Formula/economics
- Infant, Newborn
- Socioeconomic Factors
- Surveys and Questionnaires