Women’s perspectives on antenatal breast expression: a cross-sectional survey

FAIR, Frankie, WATSON, Helen, GARDNER, Rachel and SOLTANI, Hora (2018). Women’s perspectives on antenatal breast expression: a cross-sectional survey. Reproductive Health, 15 (58).

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Abstract

Background: The practice of antenatal breast expression (ABE) has been proposed as a strategy to promote successful breastfeeding. Although there has been some focus on the evaluation of the effects of ABE in promotion of breastfeeding, little or no evidence exists on women’s experiences of ABE or opinions on ABE, particularly amongst overweight or obese women. Methods: This study aimed to explore women’s knowledge, practices and opinions of ABE, and any differences within the overweight and obese subgroups. A cross-sectional survey was undertaken using an online questionnaire distributed by a maternity user group representative via social media. Quantitative data were analysed using Chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests in SPSS. Simple thematic analysis was used for the qualitative data. Results: A total of 688 responses were analysed; the sample represented a group of breastfeeding mothers, of whom 64.5% had heard of ABE, 8.2% had been advised to do ABE, and 14.2% had undertaken ABE. Of the women who had been advised to do ABE, 67.9% had complied. Most participants (58.6%) were unsure if ABE was a good idea; however 80.9% would consider doing ABE if it was found to be helpful to prepare for breastfeeding. Women in the overweight or obese subgroups were significantly more likely to have heard of ABE (p< 0.001), and positive opinion of ABE also increased with higher BMI groups. The qualitative data demonstrated participants felt ABE may be beneficial when mother or baby have medical problems, and in preparation for breastfeeding, but highlighted their concerns that it may interfere with nature and be harmful, and that they wanted more information and knowledge about ABE. Conclusions: Amongst women who have breastfed, many have heard of ABE, compliance with advice to undertake ABE is relatively high, and ABE is considered an acceptable practice. Further investigation into the benefits and safety of ABE is warranted, to address the needs of childbearing women for evidence-based information about this practice. If the evidence base is established, overweight and obese pregnant women could be an important target group for this intervention.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Departments: Health and Well-being > Nursing and Midwifery
Identification Number: 10.1186/s12978-018-0497-4
Depositing User: Frankie Fair
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2018 13:25
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2018 13:25
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19147

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