'It's those first few weeks': Women's views about breastfeeding support in an Australian outer metropolitan region

Helen Grace Hall, Gayle Elizabeth McLelland, Carole Jane Gilmour, Robyn Patricia Cant

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To examine factors that influence the establishment and continuation of breastfeeding among women living in a southern region of Victoria. Method: Sequential mixed methods design including paper-based survey and focus group enquiry. Finding: Women who had breastfed their infants (. n=. 170) reported reliance on midwives, lactation consultants and maternal and child health nurses for breastfeeding advice and support in the immediate and medium postnatal periods. Women who chose a private hospital appeared to receive less immediate postnatal support than those in a public hospital. Access to individual guidance from midwives and MCH nurses was regarded as critical to overcoming breastfeeding difficulties, in the face of the alternative suggested by people to give up . They described themes of: Women s experience of nurses/midwives , Expectations versus reality , Not giving up despite difficulties , and Breastfeeding support . Sources of lay support were not universal. Conclusion: The duration of breastfeeding might be extended by early problem resolution. To enhance breastfeeding participation, further examination of the extent and timeliness of service provision by health service providers is necessary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259 - 265
Number of pages7
JournalWomen and Birth
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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