An analysis of motivational goals in breastfeeding instruction in a Thai cultural setting

Lesley Dornan, Marlene Sinclair, W. George Kernohan, Pikul Suppasan, Siriphon Srisawat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background. Motivation and goal setting can play a significant role in breastfeeding behaviour. Effective antenatal education has been recognised as a key component within breastfeeding decision-making. The inclusion of specific and relevant goals can increase self-efficacy and improve performance. Aim. To observe motivational influences communicated by midwives in breastfeeding instruction in a Thai cultural setting. Methods. A total of 75 hours of observation were completed in eight instructional environments. Field notes and a semi-structured observation schedule were implemented to identify cultural and motivational content of routine breastfeeding education. Goals were identified through a motivational framework. Findings. Key breastfeeding themes identified in the instruction included ‘Breast: the best option; Best for mum; Best for baby; and Best for Thais’. Further themes were ‘Start off well; Building confidence; Managing tough times; and The Thai way’. There were a significant number of goals and indicators within the instruction to allow women to achieve and measure success. Conclusion. Breastfeeding instruction offered within a supportive environment with clear goal structures and culturally relevant information appears to offer a motivationally positive environment for women to begin their breastfeeding journey.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-45
Number of pages6
JournalEvidence Based Midwifery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

This study was funded by the Vice Chancellor International Scholarship, Ulster University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Royal College of Midwives.


  • Adaptation
  • Breastfeeding
  • Context
  • Culture
  • Evidence-based midwifery
  • Instruction
  • Motivation


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