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J Hum Lact. 2009 Aug;25(3):307-16. doi: 10.1177/0890334409332436. Epub 2009 Mar 13.

Barriers to best outcomes in breastfeeding for Māori: mothers' perceptions, whānau perceptions, and services.

Author information

  • 1Auckland Tobacco Control Research Centre, Social & Community Health, School of Population Health, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. m.glover@auckland.ac.nz

Abstract

This research explores the perceptions of New Zealand Māori women and their whānau (customary Māori extended family) toward barriers to achieving best outcomes in infant feeding: exclusively breastfed infants at 6 months. Interviews are undertaken with 59 Māori women who have given birth in the previous 3 years and 27 whānau members. Although mothers and whānau members feel positively toward breastfeeding and generally expect to breastfeed exclusively, these expectations are unmet in many cases because of lack of support when establishing breastfeeding; lack of support when life circumstances change; lack of timely, culturally relevant, and comprehensible information; confusion about smoking while breastfeeding; uncertainty about the safety of bed-sharing, and perceived lack of acceptability of breastfeeding in public. The relatively high rates of tobacco use by Māori create a tension for breastfeeding mothers, cited by some as a reason for ending breastfeeding prematurely.

PMID:
19286841
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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