Infant feeding in Newfoundland and Labrador: perceptions and experiences of maternal grandmothers

Young, Felicie (2014) Infant feeding in Newfoundland and Labrador: perceptions and experiences of maternal grandmothers. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The influence of a grandmother can be an important factor in a new mother’s decisions about infant feeding. Research suggests that an important predictor of choosing to breastfeed is whether or not your own mother breastfed her child(ren). In addition mothers state that they need and want their mothers’ support both in making the decision to breastfeed and in being supported while doing so. In Newfoundland and Labrador, many grandmothers who had their children during the 1960s or 1970s when breastfeeding rates were low are unable to pass on helpful breastfeeding advice. However, including the maternal grandmother in a discussion on infant feeding practices with the goal of better understanding their experiences and perspectives is important. The purpose of this study was to examine the primary influences that impacted grandmothers’ choices of infant feeding in Newfoundland and Labrador and to explore the role that grandmothers feel they played in their daughters’ choices about infant feeding. Twenty two maternal grandmothers who bottle fed their children and whose daughters bottle fed their babies were recruited to participate in either one of four focus groups or two semi-structured interviews. Transcripts were analysed using the constant comparative method of analysis to reveal insights into the grandmothers’ perceptions and experiences. Three themes emerged describing how the grandmothers felt about infant feeding: powerlessness, modesty, and ambivalence. These themes provided insight into the way that the grandmothers made decisions about how to feed their babies and the way that they interacted with their daughters in regards to infant feeding. A better understanding of grandmothers’ views of infant feeding may be used to develop an educational intervention to help improve grandmothers’ knowledge and perceptions of breastfeeding and to therefore help mobilize the much needed support their daughters require to breastfeed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/6508
Item ID: 6508
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 122-132).
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: May 2014
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Breastfeeding--Newfoundland and Labrador; Bottle feeding--Newfoundland and Labrador; Grandparenting--Newfoundland and Labrador; Grandmothers--Newfoundland and Labrador--Attitudes

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