Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Breastfeeding: An existential challenge—women's lived experiences of initiating breastfeeding within the context of early home discharge in Sweden
University of Borås, School of Health Science.
University of Borås, School of Health Science.
University of Borås, School of Health Science.
University of Borås, School of Health Science.
2010 (English)In: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, ISSN 1748-2623, E-ISSN 1748-2631, Vol. 5, no 3Article in journal (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

For most Swedish women, breastfeeding is an essential part of the childbearing period. Yet, the meaning of breastfeeding from women's perspective is scantily explored. Therefore, the aim of this study is to describe women's lived experiences of initiating breastfeeding within the context of early home discharge. Eight women, two primiparous, and six multiparous were interviewed within 2 months after birth. A reflective lifeworld research design based on phenomenological philosophy was used during the data gathering and data analysis. The results show that the phenomenon, initiating breastfeeding, in spite of good conditions, i.e., early home discharge, is complex and entails an existential challenge. The essential meaning of the phenomenon is conceptualized as, “A movement from a bodily performance to an embodied relation with the infant and oneself as a mother.” This pattern is further described in its five constituents: “Fascination in the first encounter,” “Balancing the unknown,” “Devoting oneself and enduring the situation,” “Seeking confirmation in the unique,” and “Having the entire responsibility.” Caring for women initiating breastfeeding entails, from a caring science perspective, to help the mother meet insecurity and strengthen confidence to trust her ability to breastfeed the newborn infant. According to these findings, it is suggested in the discussion that it is time for health care professionals to reject the idea of breastfeeding merely as meals or eating for the infant. Instead, they ought to embrace its origin, namely as a way to closeness between mother and infant.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Co-Action Publishing , 2010. Vol. 5, no 3
Keyword [en]
breastfeeding, lived experiences, caring science, phenomenology, reflective lifeworld research
National Category
Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-2869DOI: 10.3402/qhw.v5i3.5397Local ID: 2320/6995OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-2869DiVA: diva2:870963
Available from: 2015-11-13 Created: 2015-11-13 Last updated: 2015-12-21
In thesis
1. Amning och existens: Moderskap, sårbarhet och ömsesidigt beroende vid inledande amning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Amning och existens: Moderskap, sårbarhet och ömsesidigt beroende vid inledande amning
2015 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Aim: The overall aim of the thesis is to create knowledge about what it means for women to initiate breastfeeding and what consequences these meanings have from an existential perspective.

Approach and method: A lifeworld approach based on the epistemology of phenomenology and hermeneutics was used. Lifeworld interviews and meaningoriented analysis in accordance with the chosen lifeworld approach were performed. A synthesis and a philosophical analysis were carried out that facilitates an understanding of the existential meaning of initial breastfeeding and its consequences as a whole.

Main findings: Initiating breastfeeding, when it functions well, entails an existential challenge, a movement from a bodily performance to an embodied relationship with the infant and with oneself as a mother. When breastfeeding is experienced as being severely difficult, it entails an existential lostness as a mother, forcing her into a constant fight with herself, the infant, and others in order to find her way into motherhood. Severe breastfeeding difficulties can evoke existential vulnerability, forcing the mother to continue breastfeeding despite the difficulties, while hoping to be confirmed as a good mother; a fear of breastfeeding may be a consequence. Existential security is a necessary condition for continued breastfeeding whilst insecurity and fear of breastfeeding can lead to ceased attempts to breastfeed when experiencing severe initial difficulties. Initial breastfeeding and motherhood are intertwined in a way that affects the woman’s existence as a mother.

Conclusions: Initial breastfeeding is a complex phenomenon that is more than just a biological adaptation or a cultural issue; it touches on and evokes existential aspects of being a woman and a mother. Though anchored in both biology and culture, breastfeeding cannot be reduced to one or the other: it is both. There is a struggle between biology and culture that has existential consequences for women’s experiences of breastfeeding, the breastfeeding decision, and the women’s existence as a mother. There is a need for health professionals to look beyond the statistics of breastfeeding and consider the existential dimensions of breastfeeding-as-lived when encountering mothers wanting to breastfeed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2015. 101 p.
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations, 220/2015
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-118 (URN)978-91-87925-59-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-05-22, Sal Wicksell, Hus K, Växjö, 10:30 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-05-29 Created: 2015-05-26 Last updated: 2015-12-21Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full texthttp://www.ijqhw.net/index.php/qhw/article/view/5397/6194

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Palmér, LinaCarlsson, GunillaMollberg, MargaretaNyström, Maria
By organisation
School of Health Science
In the same journal
International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being
Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

Altmetric score

Total: 99 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf