Breastfeeding experiences of low-income women in the city of Winnipeg: a qualitative study

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Pierce, Lorelei
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Low-income women are less likely to initiate, continue and exclusively breastfeed. Limited Canadian research exists regarding the lived breastfeeding experience. A phenomenological study, utilizing a feminist approach and Fishbein’s Integrative Model of Behavioral Prediction was conducted. Women recruited via purposeful, criterion sampling, who were eligible for the Manitoba Healthy Child Prenatal Benefit and had breastfed participated in 1:1 interviews (N=18). The essence of the experience was breastfeeding is “amazing and tough”. The themes of “life context”, “tough work”, and “persevering” emerged. Women who continued to breastfeed described breastfeeding becoming easier and ongoing breastfeeding variability in their experience. Those who discontinued breastfeeding noted it did not fit with their lifestyle, made the decision to breastfeed later, and interpreted breastfeeding problems differently. Researchers and practitioners need to explore the role of stress and consider this in providing individualized, coordinated breastfeeding and health care support to these women.
breastfeeding, low-income, qualitative, phenomenology