Advanced

Australian, Irish and Swedish women's perceptions of what assisted them to breastfeed for six months : exploratory design using critical incident technique

Hauck, Yvonne L.; Blixt, Ingrid; Hildingsson, Ingegerd; Gallagher, Louise; Rubertsson, Christine LU ; Thomson, Brooke and Lewis, Lucy (2016) In BMC Public Health 16(1). p.1067-1067
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Breastfeeding initiation rates in some developed countries are high (98 % in Sweden and 96 % in Australia) whereas in others, they are not as favourable (46 % to 55 % in Ireland). Although the World Health Organization recommends exclusively breastfeeding for six months, 15 % of Australian women, 11 % of Swedish women and less than 7 % of Irish women achieve this goal. Awareness of what women in different countries perceive as essential breastfeeding support is a gap in our knowledge.

METHODS: Our aim was to explore Australian, Irish and Swedish women's perceptions of what assisted them to continue breastfeeding for six months. An exploratory design using critical incident techniques was used. Recruitment occurred... (More)

BACKGROUND: Breastfeeding initiation rates in some developed countries are high (98 % in Sweden and 96 % in Australia) whereas in others, they are not as favourable (46 % to 55 % in Ireland). Although the World Health Organization recommends exclusively breastfeeding for six months, 15 % of Australian women, 11 % of Swedish women and less than 7 % of Irish women achieve this goal. Awareness of what women in different countries perceive as essential breastfeeding support is a gap in our knowledge.

METHODS: Our aim was to explore Australian, Irish and Swedish women's perceptions of what assisted them to continue breastfeeding for six months. An exploratory design using critical incident techniques was used. Recruitment occurred through advertisements in local newspapers and on social networking platforms. Initial sampling was purposive, followed by snowball sampling. Telephone interviews were conducted with 64 Irish, 139 Swedish and 153 Australian women who responded to one question "what has assisted you to continue breastfeeding for at least six months?" Content analysis was conducted and common categories determined to allow comparison of frequencies and priority ranking.

RESULTS: Categories reflected the individual mother, her inner social network, her outer social network (informal support either face to face or online), and societal support (health professionals, work environment and breastfeeding being regarded as the cultural norm). Categories ranked in the top five across the three countries were 'informal face to face support' and 'maternal determination'. Swedish and Australian women ranked "health professional support" higher (first and third respectively) than Irish women who ranked 'informal online support' as second compared to ninth and tenth for Swedish and Australian women.

CONCLUSIONS: The support required to assist breastfeeding women is complex and multi-faceted. Although common international categories were revealed, the ranking of these supportive categories varied. We must recognize how the cultural context of breastfeeding support can vary for women in differing countries and acknowledge the resourcefulness of women who embrace innovations such as social media where face to face formal and informal support are not as accessible.

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
keywords
Breastfeeding, International, Prevalence, Professional support, Self-efficacy, Social support
in
BMC Public Health
volume
16
issue
1
pages
1 pages
publisher
BioMed Central
external identifiers
  • scopus:85027441679
ISSN
1471-2458
DOI
10.1186/s12889-016-3740-3
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
9421594e-600f-4caf-8062-6366097736df
date added to LUP
2017-10-27 13:37:29
date last changed
2017-10-31 03:00:02
@article{9421594e-600f-4caf-8062-6366097736df,
  abstract     = {<p>BACKGROUND: Breastfeeding initiation rates in some developed countries are high (98 % in Sweden and 96 % in Australia) whereas in others, they are not as favourable (46 % to 55 % in Ireland). Although the World Health Organization recommends exclusively breastfeeding for six months, 15 % of Australian women, 11 % of Swedish women and less than 7 % of Irish women achieve this goal. Awareness of what women in different countries perceive as essential breastfeeding support is a gap in our knowledge.</p><p>METHODS: Our aim was to explore Australian, Irish and Swedish women's perceptions of what assisted them to continue breastfeeding for six months. An exploratory design using critical incident techniques was used. Recruitment occurred through advertisements in local newspapers and on social networking platforms. Initial sampling was purposive, followed by snowball sampling. Telephone interviews were conducted with 64 Irish, 139 Swedish and 153 Australian women who responded to one question "what has assisted you to continue breastfeeding for at least six months?" Content analysis was conducted and common categories determined to allow comparison of frequencies and priority ranking.</p><p>RESULTS: Categories reflected the individual mother, her inner social network, her outer social network (informal support either face to face or online), and societal support (health professionals, work environment and breastfeeding being regarded as the cultural norm). Categories ranked in the top five across the three countries were 'informal face to face support' and 'maternal determination'. Swedish and Australian women ranked "health professional support" higher (first and third respectively) than Irish women who ranked 'informal online support' as second compared to ninth and tenth for Swedish and Australian women.</p><p>CONCLUSIONS: The support required to assist breastfeeding women is complex and multi-faceted. Although common international categories were revealed, the ranking of these supportive categories varied. We must recognize how the cultural context of breastfeeding support can vary for women in differing countries and acknowledge the resourcefulness of women who embrace innovations such as social media where face to face formal and informal support are not as accessible.</p>},
  author       = {Hauck, Yvonne L. and Blixt, Ingrid and Hildingsson, Ingegerd and Gallagher, Louise and Rubertsson, Christine and Thomson, Brooke and Lewis, Lucy},
  issn         = {1471-2458},
  keyword      = {Breastfeeding,International,Prevalence,Professional support,Self-efficacy,Social support},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {10},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {1067--1067},
  publisher    = {BioMed Central},
  series       = {BMC Public Health},
  title        = {Australian, Irish and Swedish women's perceptions of what assisted them to breastfeed for six months : exploratory design using critical incident technique},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-016-3740-3},
  volume       = {16},
  year         = {2016},
}