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Healthcare professionals' and mothers' perceptions of factors that influence decisions to breastfeed or formula feed infants: a comparative study.
J Adv Nurs. 2011 Sep; 67(9):1993-2003.JA

Abstract

AIM

This article is a report of a study comparing healthcare professionals' and mothers' perceptions of factors that influence the decision to breastfeed or formula feed an infant.

BACKGROUND

The World Health Organisation recommends that mothers should breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months of age and then continue to do so alongside complementary foods for the first 2 years and beyond. However, levels of breastfeeding in the United Kingdom are below the recommended targets. Low levels of actual or perceived professional support and understanding are associated with formula use.

METHODS

Twenty professionals working closely with mothers of young infants completed a semi-structured interview exploring the reasons they believed mothers chose to use formula milk. Twenty-three mothers with an infant aged 6-12 months also reflected on their experiences of milk feeding. The data were collected during 2007-2008.

RESULTS

Professionals described a range of influences on maternal decisions to breastfeed or formula feed including lack of knowledge, support and help with difficulties. These were strongly echoed in the reasons mothers gave for formula use, suggesting clear professional understanding of the challenges relating to breastfeeding. Although keen to give further support, professionals raised issues of lack of time and resources to support mothers.

CONCLUSION

Contrary to maternal beliefs of poor professional understanding, professionals had a clear perception of influences affecting early milk feeding choice. Further resources and recognition are needed for healthcare professionals working with new mothers to enable them to offer increased support, with the aim of increasing breastfeeding duration.

Authors+Show Affiliations

School of Human Sciences, Swansea University, UK. a.e.brown@swansea.ac.ukNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

21507050

Citation

Brown, Amy, et al. "Healthcare Professionals' and Mothers' Perceptions of Factors That Influence Decisions to Breastfeed or Formula Feed Infants: a Comparative Study." Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 67, no. 9, 2011, pp. 1993-2003.
Brown A, Raynor P, Lee M. Healthcare professionals' and mothers' perceptions of factors that influence decisions to breastfeed or formula feed infants: a comparative study. J Adv Nurs. 2011;67(9):1993-2003.
Brown, A., Raynor, P., & Lee, M. (2011). Healthcare professionals' and mothers' perceptions of factors that influence decisions to breastfeed or formula feed infants: a comparative study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 67(9), 1993-2003. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2648.2011.05647.x
Brown A, Raynor P, Lee M. Healthcare Professionals' and Mothers' Perceptions of Factors That Influence Decisions to Breastfeed or Formula Feed Infants: a Comparative Study. J Adv Nurs. 2011;67(9):1993-2003. PubMed PMID: 21507050.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Healthcare professionals' and mothers' perceptions of factors that influence decisions to breastfeed or formula feed infants: a comparative study. AU - Brown,Amy, AU - Raynor,Peter, AU - Lee,Michelle, Y1 - 2011/04/20/ PY - 2011/4/22/entrez PY - 2011/4/22/pubmed PY - 2011/11/10/medline SP - 1993 EP - 2003 JF - Journal of advanced nursing JO - J Adv Nurs VL - 67 IS - 9 N2 - AIM: This article is a report of a study comparing healthcare professionals' and mothers' perceptions of factors that influence the decision to breastfeed or formula feed an infant. BACKGROUND: The World Health Organisation recommends that mothers should breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months of age and then continue to do so alongside complementary foods for the first 2 years and beyond. However, levels of breastfeeding in the United Kingdom are below the recommended targets. Low levels of actual or perceived professional support and understanding are associated with formula use. METHODS: Twenty professionals working closely with mothers of young infants completed a semi-structured interview exploring the reasons they believed mothers chose to use formula milk. Twenty-three mothers with an infant aged 6-12 months also reflected on their experiences of milk feeding. The data were collected during 2007-2008. RESULTS: Professionals described a range of influences on maternal decisions to breastfeed or formula feed including lack of knowledge, support and help with difficulties. These were strongly echoed in the reasons mothers gave for formula use, suggesting clear professional understanding of the challenges relating to breastfeeding. Although keen to give further support, professionals raised issues of lack of time and resources to support mothers. CONCLUSION: Contrary to maternal beliefs of poor professional understanding, professionals had a clear perception of influences affecting early milk feeding choice. Further resources and recognition are needed for healthcare professionals working with new mothers to enable them to offer increased support, with the aim of increasing breastfeeding duration. SN - 1365-2648 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/21507050/Healthcare_professionals'_and_mothers'_perceptions_of_factors_that_influence_decisions_to_breastfeed_or_formula_feed_infants:_a_comparative_study_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2648.2011.05647.x DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -