Getting it right: Australian Primparas' views about breastfeeding: a quasi-experimental study
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Background: The study documented Australian primigravidas' perceptions about breastfeeding. Objectives: To examine women's perspectives of their breastfeeding experiences during the first 12 weeks postpartum. Design: A journal was introduced to an intervention group (n = 149) attending prenatal classes at a private hospital at 36 antenatal weeks. Using quantitative data at two days and 12 weeks postpartum, the intervention group was compared with a control group (n = 154) that delivered at the same hospital. Qualitative data were also collected about the womens's perceptions about breastfeeding to further illuminate their experience. Qualitative data from 203 women as two days postpartum and 252 women at 12 weeks postpartum represented the combined comments from the intervention and control groups. Participants: Participants were recruited as part of a randomised controlled trial of the effects of a Breastfeeding Journal on breastfeeding prevalence, self-efficacy, support, and influence from conflicting advice. The convenience sample of middle class, well-educated primiparous women from a Western Australian hospital had given birth to a singleton infant that was greater than 34 weeks gestation. Methods: An open-ended question on a questionnaire sought mothers' comments about their breastfeeding experiences. Data were analysed using inductive content analysis. Findings: These mothers described trying to 'get breastfeeding right'. Getting it right included enhancing factors, factors with mixed effect, and negative factors. Conclusions: Middle class mothers share breastfeeding perceptions with women in more vulnerable groups, including encountering conflicting and unhelpful advice and feeding pressures from health care professionals, family, and community members.
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