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Breastfeed Rev. 2012 Nov;20(3):27-38.

Exposed: younger mothers and breastfeeding.

Abstract

This qualitative study, conducted by volunteers from the Australian Capital Territory/Southern New South Wales (ACT/SNSW) Branch of the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA), explored the breastfeeding experiences of younger mothers (under the age of 26 years) in the ACT by conducting three focus groups. The study aimed to gain an understanding of how, when and where younger mothers want and need to receive breastfeeding information and support. Younger mothers provided important insights into their breastfeeding experiences, which were often characterised by judgement from health professionals and the wider public. A number of key issues were identified including: breastfeeding is far from a cultural norm in our society and as such the risks of artificial baby milk are not clearly understood by many younger mothers; younger mothers are strongly influenced by their partners, mothers and peers and they rely upon them for breastfeeding information and support. Younger mothers indicated that a number of improvements could be made to the way that breastfeeding information and support is currently provided within the ACT. The findings indicated that younger mothers (and their significant others) would benefit from receiving clear, concise and consistent breastfeeding information early on in their pregnancy, that is positive in tone, not necessarily 'young mum' specific and consistent with a 'less is more' approach. Younger mothers indicated that after the birth of their baby this breastfeeding information needs to be complemented by readily accessible, seamless, respectful support for as long as they need to establish breastfeeding and overcome any breastfeeding challenges. The focus group findings were largely consistent with the existing literature available on younger mothers and breastfeeding and provide valuable insights to all stakeholders responsible for providing breastfeeding information and support to younger mothers.

PMID:
23330448
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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