‘You're kinda passing a test’: A phenomenological study of women's experiences of breastfeeding

SPENCER, Rachael and FRASER, Diane M. (2018). ‘You're kinda passing a test’: A phenomenological study of women's experiences of breastfeeding. British Journal of Midwifery, 26 (11), 724-730.

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Background: Despite an increasing research base about what helps or hinders breastfeeding, there is a dramatic drop in breastfeeding prevalence within the first 6 weeks. Aim: To explore the experiences of breastfeeding women. Methods: This study used interpretive phenomenology to research the experiences of 22 women who had all breastfed their youngest baby for at least 11 days. Data were collected using in-depth interviews when the women's babies were between 3-6 months of age. Thematic analysis was used to analyse findings. Findings: The women described tensions and mixed messages regarding breastfeeding, and contradictions between public health messages promoting breastfeeding and the support received to continue breastfeeding. The women also described how these approaches and messages affected their breastfeeding experiences, and how they managed breastfeeding as a result. Conclusions: The findings from this study revealed a patriarchal healthcare support system for breastfeeding whereby the women felt under surveillance and expected to perform to a prescribed ideal, but also a lack of support for exclusive breastfeeding after the initial postnatal period. These findings have clear implications for practice and policy.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From Crossref via Jisc Publications Router **Journal IDs: pissn 0969-4900; eissn 2052-4307
Uncontrolled Keywords: Maternity and Midwifery
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.12968/bjom.2018.26.11.724
Page Range: 724-730
SWORD Depositor: Margaret Boot
Depositing User: Margaret Boot
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2018 12:23
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 05:22
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/23277

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