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Breastfeeding and Existence : Motherhood, Vulnerability, and Interdependency When Breastfeeding is Initiated
University of Borås, Faculty of Caring Science, Work Life and Social Welfare.
2015 (English)In: Breastfeeding and Existence , 2015Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Background: Almost all mothers in Sweden initiate breastfeeding but many cease during the first weeks after birth. In order to understand why it is important to research the meanings of the initial stage of breastfeeding and in which ways these meanings contribute to mothers’ breastfeeding decisions.

 

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 was used. Lifeworld interviews and meaning oriented analysis were performed.

 

Main findings: Initiating breastfeeding, when it functions well, entails an existential challenge. When breastfeeding is experienced as being severely difficult, it entails an existential lostness as a mother, forcing her into a constant fight in order to find her way into motherhood. Severe breastfeeding difficulties can evoke existential vulnerability, forcing the mother to continue breastfeeding, while hoping to be confirmed as a good mother; a fear of breastfeeding may be a consequence. Existential security is necessary for continued breastfeeding whilst insecurity and fear of breastfeeding can lead to ceased breastfeeding 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 which have consequences for women’s experiences of breastfeeding and breastfeeding decision.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Människan i vården
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-8470OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-8470DiVA: diva2:893659
Conference
Nordic Breastfeeding Conference
Available from: 2016-01-13 Created: 2016-01-13 Last updated: 2016-01-13

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Palmér, Lina
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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  • vancouver
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More styles
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  • de-DE
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