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‘They’re born to get breastfed’- how fathers view breastfeeding: a mixed method study


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Hansen, E ORCID: 0000-0003-4733-3411, Tesch, L and Ayton, J ORCID: 0000-0003-0092-437X 2018 , '‘They’re born to get breastfed’- how fathers view breastfeeding: a mixed method study' , Bmc Pregnancy, Childbirth and Neonatal Care, vol. 18 , pp. 1-7 , doi: 10.1186/s12884-018-1827-9.

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Background: Fathers’ attitudes and actions can positively or negatively affect mothers’ intentions to breastfeed,breastfeeding duration and exclusivity. In-depth information about fathers’ perspectives on breastfeeding arelargely absent in the literature about infant feeding. The objective of this research was to investigate how fathersview breastfeeding.Methods: This mixed method study recruited Tasmanian fathers with children Results: Twenty-six fathers participated in the study. They had a mean age of 34 years and just over halfwere first time fathers. A total of 13 fathers lived in areas classified by SEIFA as disadvantaged. Twenty-one reportedthey had decided as a couple to breastfeed their current child. Fathers’ views on breastfeeding are complex, multilayeredand change over time: as babies get older, as fathers get more familiar with feeding babies, when feedingpractices change and when family circumstances change. Four thematic categories related to how fathers viewbreastfeeding were identified; Breastfeeding as healthy and natural, the value of breast feeding and breastmilk, apragmatic approach to breastfeeding and Breastfeeding as something achieved or imposed.Conclusion: Fathers in our study valued breastfeeding and saw it as healthy and natural for babies. However, many ofthe fathers in our study had seen their partners struggle with breastfeeding. As a result some also viewed breastfeedingas a potentially harmful practice for mothers. Their accounts demonstrated that breastfeeding problems affect families,not just mothers and infants. There is scope for improvement in the care of women during and after birth to reducebreastfeeding problems and for fathers to learn more about breastfeeding prior to the birth of their child.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Hansen, E and Tesch, L and Ayton, J
Keywords: fathers, breastfeeding, Australia, qualitative
Journal or Publication Title: Bmc Pregnancy, Childbirth and Neonatal Care
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.
ISSN: 1471-2393
DOI / ID Number: 10.1186/s12884-018-1827-9
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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