A grounded theory study of Swedish women's experiences of inflammatory symptoms of the breast during breast feeding.Midwifery. 2006 Jun; 22(2):137-46.M
to gain an understanding of the experiences of women who have had an episode of inflammatory symptoms of the breast during lactation.
a grounded theory approach, inspired by Glaser and Strauss, was used in an interview study.
the study was carried out at a midwife-led breast-feeding clinic in Sweden.
the strategic sample consisted of 14 mothers, all of whom had had an episode of breast inflammation between 10 and 22 weeks before the interview. Nine were primiparous. Ages ranged between 24 and 38 years.
the analysis resulted in the emergence of one core category and five conceptual categories. The core category was 'the will to breast feed', and the five conceptual categories were 'perspectives on breast feeding', 'personal strategies', 'enduring and adjustment', 'support' and 'causal frameworks'. The core category was reflected in all the other categories and was dependent on them.
KEY CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE
an episode of breast inflammation is a possible threat to the maintenance of breast feeding, but the will to breast feed may make it possible for mothers to withstand physical and emotional difficulties caused by the illness. Breast-feeding mothers may have chosen a goal for the length of time they wish to breast feed, and the attainment of this goal is prestige-filled. Midwives, throughout the chain of care, could improve the amount and type of information given about the demands and possible complications of breast feeding. The availability of immediate clinical expertise for these mothers is an important factor, and health-care planners should be aware of this.