A randomised controlled trial looking to assess the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the ABA-feed infant feeding intervention compared to usual care in first-time mothers. 

ABA-feed trial logo

 If you are expecting your first child and are interested in taking part in ABA-feed please register your interest on our participant website https://aba-feed.org/

(Please note: You must meet the eligibility criteria and live within the specified areas)




A multicentre randomised control trial with internal pilot, economic evaluation, and embedded process evaluation.

Aim of the Study

To assess the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the ABA-feed infant feeding intervention compared to usual care in first-time mothers.

Primary objective:

To evaluate if the ABA-feed intervention compared with usual feeding care increases any breastfeeding at 8-weeks post birth, in first-time mothers regardless of their feeding intentions.

Secondary objectives:

1) To evaluate the effect of the ABA-feed intervention compared to usual feeding care on other feeding outcomes and anxiety.

2) To explore the feasibility of i) modelling longer-term clinical benefits, and ii) costs and outcomes for a lifetime horizon, using a within trial cost-consequence analysis over 16-weeks post birth.

3) To investigate how trial conduct and context varies across sites in order to understand any observed differences in outcomes and inform future implementation. 


10-15 sites across the UK; each site is an English local authority area or NHS health board (Wales & Scotland), with low breastfeeding rates who do not deliver universal proactive peer support antenatally and postnatally for first time mothers. 

The sites are managed from five University Hubs - Universities of Birmingham, Bristol, Stirling, Central Lancashire and Cardiff.

Target Population

2,730 women pregnant with their first child, with a singleton pregnancy, aged 16 or over, 20+0 to 35+6 weeks gestation with any method of feeding intention.


The ABA-feed intervention consists of proactive feeding support, underpinned by behaviour change theory and an assets-based approach in addition to usual care. The intervention delivers person-centred care and uses best evidence in terms of setting and frequency, duration and manner of support provision from the ABA-feed Infant Feeding Helpers. The ABA-feed intervention aims to be inclusive of all feeding methods (i.e. breastfeeding, formula or mixed feeding) and to provide support for all women. 

Women assigned to the comparator (control) arm will receive the usual care provided for infant feeding within their locality. 

Measurement of outcomes

Primary outcome: any breastfeeding at 8 weeks post birth.

Secondary outcomes: breastfeeding initiation, any and exclusive breastfeeding, formula feeding practices, anxiety, social support and health care utilisation.