Breastfeeding Mothers’ Experiences with Infant Feeding: An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis

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Goulden, Ami
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Mount Saint Vincent University
Introduction: Responsive feeding is a reciprocal relationship between infant and caregiver whereby the baby’s feelings of hunger and satiety are recognized and responded to effectively. Responsive feeding and breastfeeding are accepted as ideal feeding methods by the NS Standards for Food and Nutrition in Regulated Child Care Settings and the World Health Organization. With an increasing reliance on child care, early child care centres may have an impact on infant feeding outcomes. The objective was to learn about the infant feeding experiences of mothers with infants in child care centres. Methods: This was a qualitative research study using an interpretive phenomenological approach. Purposive sampling was used to recruit six mothers of children between the ages of six and 18 months attending a child care centre in Halifax. The mothers all attempted breastfeeding and their child was already introduced to complementary foods. Data was collected through semi-structured interactive interviews. Results: Thematic analysis was used to analyze data with the support of MAXQDA. Five themes emerged from the mothers’ stories: infant feeding burden, weaning stress around the “first-year”, resources and recommendations, children’s agency, and child care centre partnership. Conclusion: The areas needing further research and exploration are identified as well as recommendations for current practice.
Breastfeeding , Infants , Nova Scotia , Child care centres , Responsive feeding