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A qualitative study of infant feeding decisions among low-income women in the Republic of Ireland.
Midwifery. 2013 May; 29(5):453-60.M

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

to explore infant feeding decisions among low-income women living in Ireland to gain an in-depth understanding of the factors, which influence breast feeding initiation and continuation.

DESIGN

a descriptive qualitative study using focus groups and semi-structured interviews.

SETTING

community and primary health-care settings in the Republic of Ireland.

PARTICIPANTS

a convenience sample of 33 low-income mothers was recruited from 2 community programmes and 3 primary health-care centres.

FINDINGS

six dominant themes were identified using Thematic Analysis. Prior knowledge of infant feeding, especially from experiences of seeing breast- and artificial milk-feeding in the family and the community, influenced feeding choice. Embarrassment and stigma about breast feeding in public places and in some cases in the private sphere were commonly described as barriers to breast feeding. The decision to bottle feed often reflected a balancing of the needs of the mother and the baby, because breast feeding was often perceived as inconvenient and requiring extreme determination. Breast feeding difficulties in the early weeks were frequently described and those who stopped breast feeding early often lacked practical knowledge and experienced support. In terms of health professional support, the mothers favoured a non-pressurised approach along with practical help with breast feeding.

KEY CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE

there is a need for promotional efforts to normalise breast feeding and for training of health professionals in the provision of appropriate support.

Authors+Show Affiliations

School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science, Woodview House, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland. emily.shortt@ucd.ieNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

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

Language

eng

PubMed ID

23142432

Citation

Shortt, Emily, et al. "A Qualitative Study of Infant Feeding Decisions Among Low-income Women in the Republic of Ireland." Midwifery, vol. 29, no. 5, 2013, pp. 453-60.
Shortt E, McGorrian C, Kelleher C. A qualitative study of infant feeding decisions among low-income women in the Republic of Ireland. Midwifery. 2013;29(5):453-60.
Shortt, E., McGorrian, C., & Kelleher, C. (2013). A qualitative study of infant feeding decisions among low-income women in the Republic of Ireland. Midwifery, 29(5), 453-60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2012.03.001
Shortt E, McGorrian C, Kelleher C. A Qualitative Study of Infant Feeding Decisions Among Low-income Women in the Republic of Ireland. Midwifery. 2013;29(5):453-60. PubMed PMID: 23142432.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - A qualitative study of infant feeding decisions among low-income women in the Republic of Ireland. AU - Shortt,Emily, AU - McGorrian,Catherine, AU - Kelleher,Cecily, Y1 - 2012/11/09/ PY - 2011/11/06/received PY - 2012/03/02/revised PY - 2012/03/09/accepted PY - 2012/11/13/entrez PY - 2012/11/13/pubmed PY - 2014/1/18/medline SP - 453 EP - 60 JF - Midwifery JO - Midwifery VL - 29 IS - 5 N2 - OBJECTIVE: to explore infant feeding decisions among low-income women living in Ireland to gain an in-depth understanding of the factors, which influence breast feeding initiation and continuation. DESIGN: a descriptive qualitative study using focus groups and semi-structured interviews. SETTING: community and primary health-care settings in the Republic of Ireland. PARTICIPANTS: a convenience sample of 33 low-income mothers was recruited from 2 community programmes and 3 primary health-care centres. FINDINGS: six dominant themes were identified using Thematic Analysis. Prior knowledge of infant feeding, especially from experiences of seeing breast- and artificial milk-feeding in the family and the community, influenced feeding choice. Embarrassment and stigma about breast feeding in public places and in some cases in the private sphere were commonly described as barriers to breast feeding. The decision to bottle feed often reflected a balancing of the needs of the mother and the baby, because breast feeding was often perceived as inconvenient and requiring extreme determination. Breast feeding difficulties in the early weeks were frequently described and those who stopped breast feeding early often lacked practical knowledge and experienced support. In terms of health professional support, the mothers favoured a non-pressurised approach along with practical help with breast feeding. KEY CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: there is a need for promotional efforts to normalise breast feeding and for training of health professionals in the provision of appropriate support. SN - 1532-3099 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/23142432/A_qualitative_study_of_infant_feeding_decisions_among_low_income_women_in_the_Republic_of_Ireland_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0266-6138(12)00043-5 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -