Women's perceptions of breastfeeding barriers in early postpartum period: A qualitative analysis nested in two randomized controlled trials

Alice S. Teich, Josephine Barnett, Karen Bonuck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: This study examined women's perceptions of early infant feeding experiences and identified early postpartum barriers to successful breastfeeding. Subjects and Methods: We conducted semistructured exit interviews at 6 months postpartum with a subsample of participants (n=67) enrolled in two randomized controlled trials of breastfeeding promotion. Study arms included (1) routine pre- and postnatal visits with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) (LC group), (2) electronically prompted guidance from prenatal care providers (EP group), (3) EP+LC combined, and (4) standard of care (control group). Interview transcripts were coded using grounded theory and analyzed in MAXqda. Code matrices were used to identify early postpartum breastfeeding barriers and were further examined in relation to treatment group using a mixed methods analysis. Results: The majority of the participants reported experiencing at least one barrier to breastfeeding. Barriers to breastfeeding were more commonly reported in the early postpartum than late postpartum period. The most common barrier during the early postpartum period was the perception of inadequate milk supply ("lactational") (n=18), followed by problems with latch, medical problems that were perceived as precluding breastfeeding, and medical staff and hospital practices. Participants frequently reported that the IBCLCs assisted them in anticipating, managing, and overcoming these barriers. Conclusions: Our findings underscore the importance of integrating IBCLCs into routine pre- and postpartum care because they provide critical support that effectively addresses early postpartum barriers to breastfeeding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-15
Number of pages7
JournalBreastfeeding Medicine
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Health Policy
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Women's perceptions of breastfeeding barriers in early postpartum period: A qualitative analysis nested in two randomized controlled trials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this