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Mixed blessings : A qualitative exploration of mothers' experience of child care and feeding in the rapidly urbanizing city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Berhane, Hanna Y; Ekström, Eva-Charlotte; Jirström, Magnus LU ; Berhane, Yemane; Turner, Christopher LU ; Alsanius, Beatrix W and Trenholm, Jill (2018) In PLoS ONE 13(11). p.0207685-0207685
Abstract

Many studies have drawn attention to the vital role mothers have in safeguarding the health and nutritional wellbeing of their children. However, little is known about mothers' experiences and the challenges they face in fulfilling this role in rapidly urbanizing cities in Africa. This study aims to explore child care and feeding practices of mothers with children under five years of age in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This qualitative study was conducted using a semi-structured interview guide. A total of thirty-six interviews were conducted with purposively selected participants. All interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and translated for analysis. We used a thematic analysis approach, which was guided by a resilience... (More)

Many studies have drawn attention to the vital role mothers have in safeguarding the health and nutritional wellbeing of their children. However, little is known about mothers' experiences and the challenges they face in fulfilling this role in rapidly urbanizing cities in Africa. This study aims to explore child care and feeding practices of mothers with children under five years of age in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This qualitative study was conducted using a semi-structured interview guide. A total of thirty-six interviews were conducted with purposively selected participants. All interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and translated for analysis. We used a thematic analysis approach, which was guided by a resilience framework. The findings are presented as three major themes. 1) 'Mixed blessings-balancing motherhood's expectations'. While mothers identified positively with the social recognition and sense of fulfillment of being a 'good mother', they were ambivalent/torn about earning the necessary income from outside work and fulfilling their duties at home. 2) 'Instabilities due to rampant urban sprawl'. While women expressed a keen desire to balance work and motherhood, the disintegrating social capital, due to large in-migration, market fluctuations and abrupt/forced resettlements to new housing units had left mothers without support for childcare, stressed and exhausted. 3) 'Anchored by faith: a source of resilience to cope with adversities'. In the face of the multiple adversities, mothers cited their strong faith as their most reliable foundation for their resilience. In summary, the societal and environmental changes accompanying the rapid urbanization in low income settings makes combining child care and working outside the home very challenging for mothers. As a result they suffer from fatigue and feelings of isolation. Efforts to improve child feeding and care in urban low-income settings need to consider context appropriate strategies that support mothers with small children.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
PLoS ONE
volume
13
issue
11
pages
0207685 - 0207685
publisher
Public Library of Science
external identifiers
  • scopus:85052586060
ISSN
1932-6203
DOI
10.1371/journal.pone.0207685
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7e766bb0-8766-4e78-83e5-7ed9436c9a1f
date added to LUP
2018-11-24 09:34:51
date last changed
2019-07-16 04:01:04
@article{7e766bb0-8766-4e78-83e5-7ed9436c9a1f,
  abstract     = {<p>Many studies have drawn attention to the vital role mothers have in safeguarding the health and nutritional wellbeing of their children. However, little is known about mothers' experiences and the challenges they face in fulfilling this role in rapidly urbanizing cities in Africa. This study aims to explore child care and feeding practices of mothers with children under five years of age in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This qualitative study was conducted using a semi-structured interview guide. A total of thirty-six interviews were conducted with purposively selected participants. All interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and translated for analysis. We used a thematic analysis approach, which was guided by a resilience framework. The findings are presented as three major themes. 1) 'Mixed blessings-balancing motherhood's expectations'. While mothers identified positively with the social recognition and sense of fulfillment of being a 'good mother', they were ambivalent/torn about earning the necessary income from outside work and fulfilling their duties at home. 2) 'Instabilities due to rampant urban sprawl'. While women expressed a keen desire to balance work and motherhood, the disintegrating social capital, due to large in-migration, market fluctuations and abrupt/forced resettlements to new housing units had left mothers without support for childcare, stressed and exhausted. 3) 'Anchored by faith: a source of resilience to cope with adversities'. In the face of the multiple adversities, mothers cited their strong faith as their most reliable foundation for their resilience. In summary, the societal and environmental changes accompanying the rapid urbanization in low income settings makes combining child care and working outside the home very challenging for mothers. As a result they suffer from fatigue and feelings of isolation. Efforts to improve child feeding and care in urban low-income settings need to consider context appropriate strategies that support mothers with small children.</p>},
  author       = {Berhane, Hanna Y and Ekström, Eva-Charlotte and Jirström, Magnus and Berhane, Yemane and Turner, Christopher and Alsanius, Beatrix W and Trenholm, Jill},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {11},
  pages        = {0207685--0207685},
  publisher    = {Public Library of Science},
  series       = {PLoS ONE},
  title        = {Mixed blessings : A qualitative exploration of mothers' experience of child care and feeding in the rapidly urbanizing city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0207685},
  volume       = {13},
  year         = {2018},
}