Strategies for success: a toolbox of coping strategies used by breastfeeding women

O'Brien, Maxine L, Buikstra, Elizabeth, Fallon, Tony and Hegney, Desley G. (2009) Strategies for success: a toolbox of coping strategies used by breastfeeding women. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 18 11: 1574-1582. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2702.2008.02667.x


Author O'Brien, Maxine L
Buikstra, Elizabeth
Fallon, Tony
Hegney, Desley G.
Title Strategies for success: a toolbox of coping strategies used by breastfeeding women
Formatted title
Strategies for success: a toolbox of coping strategies used by breastfeeding women
Journal name Journal of Clinical Nursing   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0962-1067
1365-2702
Publication date 2009-06-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2008.02667.x
Open Access Status
Volume 18
Issue 11
Start page 1574
End page 1582
Total pages 9
Editor Roger Watson
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Language eng
Subject C1
321101 Midwifery
920210 Nursing
111006 Midwifery
Abstract Aims. The purpose of this paper is to present the findings of two qualitative studies which identified strategies used by breastfeeding women to assist them to continue breastfeeding. Background. While breastfeeding initiation rates are high in Australia, the majority of women wean before the recommended time. The identification of interventions which may increase breastfeeding duration is therefore a research priority. Design. The Against All Odds study used a case-controlled design to investigate the characteristics of women who continued to breastfeed in the face of extraordinary difficulties. Phase One of the I Think I Can study employed the Nominal Group Technique to investigate the views of subject matter experts regarding which psychological factors may influence the duration of breastfeeding. Method. Against All Odds study participants (n = 40) undertook a one- to two-hour interview and the transcribed data were analysed using thematic analysis. Stratified purposeful sampling was employed in the I Think I Can study (n = 21), with participants assigned group membership according to their most recent breastfeeding experience. A fourth group was composed of experienced breastfeeding clinicians. The nominal group technique was used to generate group data and segments of the discussion were audiotaped and transcribed for thematic analysis. Results. Participants in both the studies raised strategies used to assist them in their efforts to cope with the challenges of breastfeeding and early motherhood. These strategies included increasing breastfeeding knowledge, staying relaxed and ‘looking after yourself’, the use of positive self-talk, challenging unhelpful beliefs, problem solving, goal setting and the practice of mindfulness. Conclusions. Employment of these simple behavioural and cognitive strategies may assist women to cope with the pressures inherent in the experience of early mothering, thereby increasing the duration of breastfeeding. Relevance to clinical practice. These results may represent a ‘tool box’ of coping strategies which can be provided to women for use in the postnatal period.
Formatted abstract
Aims. The purpose of this paper is to present the findings of two qualitative studies which identified strategies used by breastfeeding women to assist them to continue breastfeeding.
Background. While breastfeeding initiation rates are high in Australia, the majority of women wean before the recommended time. The identification of interventions which may increase breastfeeding duration is therefore a research priority.
Design. The Against All Odds study used a case-controlled design to investigate the characteristics of women who continued to breastfeed in the face of extraordinary difficulties. Phase One of the I Think I Can study employed the Nominal Group Technique to investigate the views of subject matter experts regarding which psychological factors may influence the duration of breastfeeding.
Method. Against All Odds study participants (n = 40) undertook a one- to two-hour interview and the transcribed data were analysed using thematic analysis. Stratified purposeful sampling was employed in the I Think I Can study (n = 21), with participants assigned group membership according to their most recent breastfeeding experience. A fourth group was composed
of experienced breastfeeding clinicians. The nominal group technique was used to generate group data and segments of the discussion were audiotaped and transcribed for thematic analysis.
Results. Participants in both the studies raised strategies used to assist them in their efforts to cope with the challenges of breastfeeding and early motherhood. These strategies included increasing breastfeeding knowledge, staying relaxed and ‘looking after yourself’, the use of positive self-talk, challenging unhelpful beliefs, problem solving, goal setting and the practice of mindfulness.
Conclusions. Employment of these simple behavioural and cognitive strategies may assist women to cope with the pressures inherent in the experience of early mothering, thereby increasing the duration of breastfeeding.
Relevance to clinical practice. These results may represent a ‘tool box’ of coping strategies which can be provided to women for use in the postnatal period.
Keyword breastfeeding
cognitive therapy
midwifery
nursing
psychological well-being
stress
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 12 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 11 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 28 May 2009, 23:50:29 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work