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Open Access Nain, Mam and Me: Historical artefacts as prompts for reminiscence, reflection and conversation about feeding babies. A qualitative development study

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Historical artefacts can act as distancing objects, encouraging neutral discussion around sensitive topics that involve personal decision-making. Infant feeding is an example of a sensitive topic where strong emotions associated with infrequently shared experiences often underlie present beliefs and values. An exhibition of historical artefacts designed to generate discussion around the topic of infant feeding was piloted at the Welsh National Eisteddfod 2015 as part of a qualitative development study. The study indicated that the exhibition was perceived as a safe space for discussion regardless of prior beliefs and experience, and that artefacts acted as effective prompts for reminiscence and reflection. Follow-up interviews identified areas of intergenerational change that impact on intergenerational support – changing hospital practices, expert advice and attitudes towards breastfeeding in public places. The exhibition indicated the potential of historical artefacts to facilitate intra- and intergenerational conversation around sensitive public health topics.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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