What is the problem with breast-feeding? A qualitative analysis of infant feeding perceptions

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Abstract:

Abstract Aims and objectives 

Breast-feeding rates are low in Northern Ireland (NI) compared with other regions of Europe. The aim of this study has therefore been to define and explore factors determining infant feeding decisions with a view to the planning of future research and intervention needs. Method 

Participants were approached at convenience from the throughput of women attending a large teaching hospital antenatal clinic to take part in focus group discussion. Results 

Dominant themes indicated that the main barriers to breast-feeding are restricted freedom and independence associated with family issues, return to work, societal embarrassment and perceived social isolation. The dialogue suggested that breast-feeding leads to inability to carry out everyday activities and social exclusion. Conclusions 

Incompatible social norms make it difficult for mothers to breast-feed successfully. This implies that future promotional efforts should take a societal approach.

Keywords: barriers; breast-feeding; perceptions; qualitative

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-277X.2003.00446.x

Affiliations: 1: Northern Ireland Centre for Diet and Health (NICHE) and 2: School of Nursing, University of Ulster at Coleraine, Northern Ireland, UK

Publication date: August 1, 2003

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