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"Close to their Hearts”: Experiences of Breastfeeding Mothers in Ireland during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ganly, Rachel (2021) "Close to their Hearts”: Experiences of Breastfeeding Mothers in Ireland during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Undergraduate thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Background & Aim: Virtually all members of society, including breastfeeding mothers, have been impacted by the public health restrictions implemented as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Breastfeeding is important for the health of mother and baby. The aim of this study is to explore the experiences of breastfeeding mothers in Ireland during the pandemic using a qualitative approach.

Method: One–to-one semi-structured interviews were carried out with 12 breastfeeding mothers.

Results: A thematic analysis was carried out and 4 main themes were identified; (i) breast is best but best take it day by day, (ii) it takes a village but quality over quantity, (iii) no pain, no gain and (iv) not in my back yard.

Conclusion: Participants were motivated by the enhanced health and bonding benefits of breastfeeding and had an array of supports available to them when breastfeeding, however, the quality of these supports varied. Pain associated with breastfeeding and lack of social acceptance are ongoing issues encountered by breastfeeding mothers. These findings have implications for the initiation and duration of breastfeeding. Overall, the pandemic does not appear to have created new motivations, supports or challenges for breastfeeding mothers, although it has had some indirect effects.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Breastfeeding; COVID-19; Benefits; Supports; Challenges
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine > Personal Health and Hygiene
Divisions: School of Business > BA (Honours) in Psychology
Depositing User: Clara Chan
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2021 15:12
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2021 15:11

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