The Lived Experience of Breastfeeding for Women with Perinatal Depression
Review TypeNone: Degree-based Submission
Review StatusNot Applicable (See Review Type)
Repository Posting Date2019-05-07T14:00:59Z
Author(s)Pratt, Beth A.
Author DetailsBeth A. Pratt, PhD, RN
Lead Author Sigma AffliationIota Xi
Level of EvidencePhenomenology
Research ApproachQualitative Research
Exclusive breastfeeding for at least 6 months provides numerous infant and maternal benefits. Yet mothers with risk factors, such as lower education, lower socioeconomic status, younger maternal age, planned cesarean birth, and anxiety and depression, are more likely to stop breastfeeding in the early postpartum period. Few studies have focused on perinatal depression as a risk factor for breastfeeding cessation. To tailor effective interventions, nurses must first understand the lived experience of breastfeeding for mothers at risk for perinatal depression. A descriptive phenomenological study was conducted to elucidate the experience of breastfeeding for mothers with perinatal depression. The study was grounded in Swanson’s middle-range theory of caring. After university Institutional Review Board approval, a purposive sample of 10 women was recruited from various organizations. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, and semistructured, audiorecorded face-to-face or telephonic interviews were conducted. The researcher transcribed the data which was transformed into constituents of the mothers’ lived experience by utilizing Giorgi’s descriptive phenomenological method. Five constituents emerged: choosing selflessness, harboring inadequacy, deliberate persevering, discerning meaning, and cherishing intimacy. The constituents embodied the essence of the mothers’ thoughts and feelings connected to breastfeeding. By daily choosing selflessness, mothers consciously decided to breastfeed despite physical or psychological struggles. They often were harboring inadequacy due to ongoing struggles which led to incessant thoughts of maternal incompetence. Yet they successfully breastfed for at least 2 weeks after birth by deliberate persevering. Through breastfeeding, they were discerning meaning to realize their value as mothers. Finally, they reveled in purposeful moments of togetherness with their babies through cherishing intimacy. The study findings inform recommendations for nursing education, practice, research, and policy. Nursing education must include basic breastfeeding and perinatal mental health knowledge in prelicensure curricula and up-to-date lactation management techniques and perinatal mental health awareness training in continuing education. Practicing maternal-child nurses must provide education and support to mothers about advantages and difficulties of breastfeeding throughout the perinatal period. Future research includes determination of support needs for women with perinatal depression with subsequent development and evaluation of therapeutic actions to promote breastfeeding success.
DescriptionThis dissertation has also been disseminated through the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Dissertation/thesis number: 10608142; ProQuest document ID: 1987556892. The author still retains copyright.
Degree GrantorFlorida Atlantic University
NotesThis item has not gone through this repository's peer-review process, but has been accepted by the indicated university or college in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the specified degree.
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