Title: Breastfeeding practice in the UK: midwives' perspectives
Authors: Furber, Christine M ×
Thomson, Ann M #
Issue Date: Jan-2008
Series Title: Maternal & child nutrition vol:4 issue:1 pages:44-54
Abstract: Despite breastfeeding prevalence increasing, many mothers in developed countries are dissatisfied with care provided by midwives. However, a paucity of research exists related to midwives' experiences of supporting breastfeeding mothers. This study explored the experiences of English midwives' during their breastfeeding support role. A qualitative study using grounded theory principles was used. Data were collected using in-depth interviews and analysed using constant comparative techniques. The setting was two maternity hospitals in the North of England, UK. Thirty midwives who cared for normal, healthy babies participated. Volunteers were recruited using theoretical sampling techniques. The core category that emerged is called 'surviving baby feeding' and relates to midwives' experiences when supporting mothers. The results reported in this paper refer to one category called 'doing well with feeding' which has three main themes: (1) communicating sensitively, (2) facilitating breastfeeding, and (3) reducing conflicting advice. Participating midwives reported practice that suggests that they valued breastfeeding, attempted to provide realistic information and advice, and tried to minimise confusion for mothers. However, some midwives used an authoritative manner when conversing with mothers. English midwives' reported practice demonstrates that these midwives appreciated that breastfeeding mothers required specific support. However, breastfeeding education that encourages midwives to develop effective skills in ascertaining mother's needs, but also encourages mothers to effectively participate in their care, should be provided. Further research is needed to clarify breastfeeding mothers' expectations and needs.
ISSN: 1740-8695
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Academic Centre for Nursing and Midwifery
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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