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Resistance to breastfeeding: A Foucauldian analysis of breastfeeding support from health professionals.
Women Birth. 2017 Dec; 30(6):e281-e291.WB

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Despite widespread consensus regarding the health benefits of breastfeeding, the prevalence of six months exclusive breastfeeding is very low in developed countries including New Zealand.

AIM

This paper aims to evaluate the role that health professionals play in promoting exclusive breastfeeding in New Zealand.

METHODS

Qualitative research involving face to face postpartum interviews conducted four to six weeks after the birth with 30 new mothers who lived in New Zealand and had identified in a short antenatal questionnaire that they intended to practice exclusive breastfeeding for six months. Themes related to exclusive breastfeeding support from health professionals were extracted from the interview transcripts and interpreted using Foucault's ideas about governmentality and bio-power.

RESULTS

Four themes related to the quality of health care support were identified in the interview transcripts. 'Breastfeeding self-efficacy support from the community midwives', 'mothers need to know more about breastfeeding during pregnancy', 'experiencing difficulties breastfeeding' as well as 'pressure and resistance to breastfeeding'.

DISCUSSION

Most mothers in this research spoke about feeling pressured to breastfeed within the New Zealand health system. However, the participating mothers acknowledged the effective support that they had received from community midwives who respected their autonomy, strengthened their self-esteem and encouraged them to breastfeed.

CONCLUSION

Negative historical experiences related to the medicalization of infant feeding in Western countries suggests that health professionals need to provide effective skill support for breastfeeding mothers so that mothers do not consider it a form of "quiet coercion" or as an exercise of "power".

Authors+Show Affiliations

School of Public Health, Massey University, New Zealand.School of Public Health, Massey University, New Zealand. Electronic address: s.r.phibbs@massey.ac.nz.School of Public Health, Massey University, New Zealand.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28648583

Citation

Alianmoghaddam, Narges, et al. "Resistance to Breastfeeding: a Foucauldian Analysis of Breastfeeding Support From Health Professionals." Women and Birth : Journal of the Australian College of Midwives, vol. 30, no. 6, 2017, pp. e281-e291.
Alianmoghaddam N, Phibbs S, Benn C. Resistance to breastfeeding: A Foucauldian analysis of breastfeeding support from health professionals. Women Birth. 2017;30(6):e281-e291.
Alianmoghaddam, N., Phibbs, S., & Benn, C. (2017). Resistance to breastfeeding: A Foucauldian analysis of breastfeeding support from health professionals. Women and Birth : Journal of the Australian College of Midwives, 30(6), e281-e291. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2017.05.005
Alianmoghaddam N, Phibbs S, Benn C. Resistance to Breastfeeding: a Foucauldian Analysis of Breastfeeding Support From Health Professionals. Women Birth. 2017;30(6):e281-e291. PubMed PMID: 28648583.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Resistance to breastfeeding: A Foucauldian analysis of breastfeeding support from health professionals. AU - Alianmoghaddam,Narges, AU - Phibbs,Suzanne, AU - Benn,Cheryl, Y1 - 2017/06/22/ PY - 2016/11/14/received PY - 2017/04/10/revised PY - 2017/05/19/accepted PY - 2017/6/27/pubmed PY - 2018/3/7/medline PY - 2017/6/27/entrez KW - Breastfeeding KW - Breastfeeding support KW - Exclusive breastfeeding KW - Foucault KW - Health professional SP - e281 EP - e291 JF - Women and birth : journal of the Australian College of Midwives JO - Women Birth VL - 30 IS - 6 N2 - BACKGROUND: Despite widespread consensus regarding the health benefits of breastfeeding, the prevalence of six months exclusive breastfeeding is very low in developed countries including New Zealand. AIM: This paper aims to evaluate the role that health professionals play in promoting exclusive breastfeeding in New Zealand. METHODS: Qualitative research involving face to face postpartum interviews conducted four to six weeks after the birth with 30 new mothers who lived in New Zealand and had identified in a short antenatal questionnaire that they intended to practice exclusive breastfeeding for six months. Themes related to exclusive breastfeeding support from health professionals were extracted from the interview transcripts and interpreted using Foucault's ideas about governmentality and bio-power. RESULTS: Four themes related to the quality of health care support were identified in the interview transcripts. 'Breastfeeding self-efficacy support from the community midwives', 'mothers need to know more about breastfeeding during pregnancy', 'experiencing difficulties breastfeeding' as well as 'pressure and resistance to breastfeeding'. DISCUSSION: Most mothers in this research spoke about feeling pressured to breastfeed within the New Zealand health system. However, the participating mothers acknowledged the effective support that they had received from community midwives who respected their autonomy, strengthened their self-esteem and encouraged them to breastfeed. CONCLUSION: Negative historical experiences related to the medicalization of infant feeding in Western countries suggests that health professionals need to provide effective skill support for breastfeeding mothers so that mothers do not consider it a form of "quiet coercion" or as an exercise of "power". SN - 1878-1799 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28648583/Resistance_to_breastfeeding:_A_Foucauldian_analysis_of_breastfeeding_support_from_health_professionals_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1871-5192(16)30221-9 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -