Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Dr. Vibha Kumar


Choice of nutrition has a great effect on the early development of human growth. Despite increased knowledge on the benefit of breastfeeding to both mother and child, some mothers still choose to formula feed. The purpose of this study is to explain how maternal health contributes to choices. The theory of maternal role attainment and the social cognitive theory are used to evaluate these feeding choices. This study tests for the association between maternal weight status and choice of infant feeding practices, the association between postpartum depression and choice of feeding and finally, if depression mediates the relationship between maternal weight gain and infant feeding choices. This retrospective cohort study employed a quantitative approach, utilizing secondary data with a sample size of 4902, retrieved from Infant Feeding Practices Study II. The data contained information on pregnant women in their third trimester until the first year of infants' life. Logistic regression was employed to answer these research questions. The result indicated that compared to those who are obese, mothers with normal weight are 29.6% more likely to breastfeed. Depressed mothers are 45.9% less likely to breastfeed. There is no possible mediation effect identified in this study. Further studies may need to collect mother's depression status prior to conception. Based on the outcome of this study, there is a need for caregivers to identify at-risk mothers prior to delivery while offering solutions that contribute to better feeding choices. For social change, mothers who are overweight or those experiencing depression prior to conception will make better feeding choices if they receive adequate support and counseling on the implication of their health condition on their infants.