Why do Swedish women cease breastfeeding during the early weeks after birth? A matter of insecurity and fear of breastfeeding
2016 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Sustainable developmentThe content falls within the scope of Sustainable Development
Background: The majority of new mothers in Sweden initiate breastfeeding but many experience initial difficulties. This experience is an important cause of early breastfeeding cessation. To increase understanding, there is a need to explore the lived experiences of the breastfeeding decision.
Aim: The aim is to explain and understand how the breastfeeding decision is influenced by the meaning of severe initial difficulties.
Methods: A lifeworld hermeneutical approach was used. The study was conducted by lifeworld interviews with mothers who experienced severe difficulties with initial breastfeeding.
Results: Mothers who experience severe difficulties with initial breastfeeding feel both overtaken and violate; by their infants and their bodies but also by their anger, expectations, loneliness and care from health professionals. These feelings of being overtaken and invaded provoke an existential crisis and place mothers at a turning point in which these feelings are compared and put in relation to one another in the negotiation of the breastfeeding decision. This decision depends on the possibility of feeling secure with the breastfeeding relationship. Mothers’ responsibility for the mother-infant relationship guides the decision. If insecurity dominates, this can, in severe cases, create a feeling of fear of breastfeeding making it necessary to cease breastfeeding.
Conclusions: This study highlights how women are situated in a complex cultural and biological context of breastfeeding that has existential consequences. Unresolved feelings of insecurity and fear of breastfeeding is a serious barrier to further breastfeeding. Health care professionals need to be aware of this existential situation and its effects on the breastfeeding decision when caring for mothers having initial breastfeeding difficulties.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Breastfeeding, breastfeeding difficulties, experiences, women, mother, caring science
Research subject Människan i vården
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-11759OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-11759DiVA: diva2:1063827
NJF Conference Göteborg, Gothenburg, May 12-14, 2016