Differences in the emotional and practical experiences of exclusively breast feeding and combination feeding mothers



Komninou, S, Fallon, V, Grovenor Halford, Jason Christian and Harrold, JA ORCID: 0000-0002-0899-4586
(2017) Differences in the emotional and practical experiences of exclusively breast feeding and combination feeding mothers. Maternal and Child Nutrition, 13 (3).

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Abstract

The majority of research examining the barriers to breastfeeding focuses on the physical challenges faced by mothers rather than the risks of encountering negative emotional and practical feeding experiences. We aimed to quantify the emotional and practical experiences of the overall sample of breastfeeding mothers and identify the differences in the emotional and practical experiences of exclusively breastfeeding mothers and combination feeding mothers, by feeding type and intention. Eight hundred forty‐five mothers with infants up to 26 weeks of age and who had initiated breastfeeding were recruited through relevant social media via advertisements providing a link to an online survey. Predictors of emotional experiences included guilt, stigma, satisfaction with feeding method, and the need to defend themselves due to infant feeding choices. Practical predictors included perceived support from health professionals, main sources of infant feeding information, and respect from their everyday environment, workplace, and when breastfeeding in public. Current feeding type and prenatal feeding intention. In the overall sample, 15% of the mothers reported feeling guilty, 38% stigmatized, and 55% felt the need to defend their feeding choice. Binary logit models revealed that guilt and dissatisfaction were directly associated with feeding type, being higher when supplementing with formula. No associations with feeding intention were identified. This study demonstrates a link between current breastfeeding promotion strategies and the emotional state of breastfeeding mothers who supplement with formula to any extent. To minimize the negative impact on maternal well‐being, it is important that future recommendations recognize the challenges that exclusive breastfeeding brings and provide a more balanced and realistic target for mothers.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: breastfeeding, breastfeeding promotion, breastfeeding support, breast milk substitutes, Maternal mental health, stigma
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2016 07:22
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 20:14
DOI: 10.1111/mcn.12364
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3002769