Why do women choose to start, continue or stop breastfeeding? a qualitative phenomenological interpretive analysis
- Subject Areas
- Nursing, Psychiatry and Psychology, Women's Health
- Breastfeeding, psychosocial difficulties, postnatal depression, support, qualitative research, maternal attachment, interpretive phenomenological analysis
- © 2015 Ryan et al.
- This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ PrePrints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
- Cite this article
- 2015. Why do women choose to start, continue or stop breastfeeding? a qualitative phenomenological interpretive analysis. PeerJ PrePrints 3:e1166v2 https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.1166v2
The statistics from the National Health Service in the United Kingdom show that despite the current advice to breastfeed an infant exclusively for the first six months of life, less than 1% of mothers are actually doing this. Therefore, it is important it understand the barriers to breastfeeding experiences by women. The study aimed to investigate why some women choose to continue breastfeeding their infant, whilst other women do not. A qualitative semi-structured approach was employed recruiting eight participants interviewed one-to-one and three participants via one mini focus group. It was decided to use a qualitative approach in order to understand the experiences of women who have breastfed. Ethical approval was received from University of Plymouth, Faculty of Health and Human Sciences. Data was analysed using interpretive phenomenological analysis. The analysis identified four main themes centred on; social and cultural expectations of women, the impact of breastfeeding on maternal role, the perceived impact of breastfeeding on the mother’s attachment to her infant, and finally, the information provision from health care professional involved throughout pregnancy and after. The study only employed 11 participants. It is hoped that this study can be extended in the future to better understand the experiences of a wider range of breastfeeding women. Increased support and resources are needed to support women through the early stages of breastfeeding. Women need more appropriate help and support from professionals to enable them to breast feed without undue pressure, particularly when breastfeeding becomes problematic. Future research should investigate when different forms of information provision should be provided.
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