Author: Sze, Kin Yan
Title: Women's lived experiences of transitioning from breast to formula feeding their infants : an interpretative phenomenological analysis
Advisors: Chan, Zenobia (SN)
Chiang, Vico (SN)
Degree: DHSc
Year: 2020
Subject: Breastfeeding -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
Pages: ix, 185 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) have emphasised the importance of breastfeeding for infant health. After a long period of breastfeeding promotion, breastfeeding rates in Hong Kong have been rising consistently; however, the low continuation rate is alarming. Aim and objectives: This Hong Kong-based study aimed to explore the lived experiences of women's infant feeding practices, with the objective of gaining an in-depth understanding of their transition from breast to formula feeding, and to identify insights into their difficulties and needs. Design: A qualitative approach employing an interpretative phenomenological research approach was adopted as the study design. Methods: Data were collected from 2014 to 2015 through individual in-depth unstructured interviews with 16 women, conducted between three and 12 months after the birth of their infants. Data were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Findings: Three themes were discerned: 1) self-struggle, with the subthemes of feeling like a 'milk cow' and feeling trapped; 2) family conflict, with the subtheme of losing self in the family, and 3) interpersonal tensions, with the subthemes of not receiving support in the workplace, being frustrated due to extra supervision, and lack of support and judgement on the part of professionals. Discussion: Mothers suffer from various stressors and frustration in regard to breastfeeding, which compel them to change to formula feeding, even if the change is not their preference. The findings suggest several pertinent areas that need to be considered when preparing for infant feeding care. Conclusion. The findings of this study reinforce our knowledge of women's struggles after giving birth due to multiple sources of pressure, such as career, childcare expectations, and family life. All mothers should receive assistance in making an informed decision about the optimal approach to feeding their baby, given their individual situation, and support in pursuing their chosen feeding method.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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