”I thought it would keep them all quiet”. Women’s experiences of breastfeeding as illusions of compliance

SPENCER, Rachael, GREATREX-WHITE, S and FRASER, D.M. (2015). ”I thought it would keep them all quiet”. Women’s experiences of breastfeeding as illusions of compliance. Journal Of Advanced Nursing, 71 (5), 1076-1086.

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Official URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jan.12...
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1111/jan.12592


Aims To explore the experiences of breastfeeding women. Background There is a plethora of data demonstrating that human breast milk provides complete nutrition for human infants. While the rate of initiation of breastfeeding in the United Kingdom has shown a steady increase in the last 25 years, rates of exclusive breastfeeding in the early weeks and months over the same time period have shown only marginal increases. This study was designed to extend current knowledge around breastfeeding experiences, decisions and behaviours. Design Qualitative, interpretive phenomenological approach. Methods Data were collected between July 2009–January 2010 through in‐depth interviews with 22 women from a city in the East Midlands where the prevalence of breastfeeding has showed a decreasing trend. Data were collected between 3–6 months after the birth of their youngest baby. Findings Analysis of data uncovered a key theme: illusions of compliance. The findings revealed that women's breastfeeding behaviours were socially mediated. They adopted a good mother image by conforming to the moral obligation to breastfeed immediately after their babies were born. Those women who struggled to establish breastfeeding tried to hide their difficulties rather than admit that they were not coping. Conclusion This study provides insights into women's infant feeding decisions and behaviours, building on understandings of ‘good mothering’ in the wider literature. Importantly we highlight some of the previously unknown strategies that women employed to portray themselves as calm, coping and in control when in reality they were struggling and not enjoying breastfeeding.

Item Type: Article
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Health and Well-being > Department of Nursing and Midwifery
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1111/jan.12592
Page Range: 1076-1086
Depositing User: Rachael Spencer
Date Deposited: 15 May 2018 14:53
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 13:21
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/21070

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