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

Barbara J. Stewart-Knox, K Gardiner, M Wright

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    86 Citations (Scopus)

    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.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages265-273
    JournalJournal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
    Volume16
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003

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    Breast Feeding
    Northern Ireland
    Social Isolation
    Return to Work
    Focus Groups
    Teaching Hospitals
    Breast
    Mothers

    Cite this

    Stewart-Knox, Barbara J. ; Gardiner, K ; Wright, M. / What is the problem with breast-feeding? A qualitative analysis of infant feeding perceptions. In: Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. 2003 ; Vol. 16, No. 4. pp. 265-273.
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    What is the problem with breast-feeding? A qualitative analysis of infant feeding perceptions. / Stewart-Knox, Barbara J.; Gardiner, K; Wright, M.

    In: Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Vol. 16, No. 4, 08.2003, p. 265-273.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AB - 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.

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