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Anales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra

versión impresa ISSN 1137-6627


BELINTXON-MARTIN, M.; ZARAGUETA, M. C.; ADRIAN, M. C.  y  LOPEZ-DICASTILLO, O.. Initiating breastfeeding: experiences of first-time mothers. Anales Sis San Navarra [online]. 2011, vol.34, n.3, pp.409-418. ISSN 1137-6627.

Background. Breastfeeding is important for promoting the healthy development of the newborn. Despite its benefits, the abandonment of breastfeeding is massive in the first three months of life. The aim of this research was to explore how first-time mothers perceived and experienced breastfeeding in order to identify issues affecting its establishment. Methods. A qualitative study with a descriptive phenomenological approach was used. Twelve first-time mothers were interviewed in-depth on two occasions: once a few days after childbirth, and another time one month from giving birth. The data were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Giorgi´s method was used for the analysis. Results. The essential meaning of the experience undergone by the mothers who took part in this study can be described by the following five themes: an idealization of breastfeeding; uncertainty over the difficulties; a desire for privacy during breastfeeding; shared responsibility with the child for breastfeeding to succeed; and, finally, disruption to the women´s lives and changes in their role. Conclusions. This study allowed access to the experiences of first-time mothers during the establishment of breastfeeding. This information will facilitate the design of tailored interventions taking into account the mothers´ reports. Health professionals should: consider women´s expectations and how they face their new role, provide practical and emotional support, be consistent and avoid giving conflicting advice, and acknowledge the importance of the fathers´ support.

Palabras clave : Phenomenology; Establishment; Breastfeeding; Mothers.

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