Research methodologies to investigate the experience of breastfeeding: a discussion paper

Spencer , Rachael Louise (2008) Research methodologies to investigate the experience of breastfeeding: a discussion paper. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 45 (12). pp. 1823-1830. ISSN 0020-7489

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Research methodologies to investigate the experienceof breastfeeding: a discussion paper
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Full text URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2008.04.008

Abstract

This paper is a discussion of the importance of choosing appropriate methodologies to research the breastfeeding experience of women in the United Kingdom. Despite a plethora of research emphasising the benefits of breastfeeding to maternal and infant health, there is a relative dearth of research from the United Kingdom about women’s experiences of breastfeeding. In order to understand the inherent complexities of successfully promoting and supporting breastfeeding, a mothers’ breastfeeding experience must be examined within her specific context. This is increasingly recognised as a vital tool in providing effective
support by health care professionals in extending breastfeeding duration. As such, this highlights the importance that appropriate methodologies are chosen through which to explore this phenomenon from the perspective of those experiencing it. This paper debates the importance of philosophical lines of enquiry in relation to breastfeeding research, and argues that engaging with ontological perspectives would offer opportunities for researchers to engage with women’s understanding of breastfeeding in today’s society. A hermeneutic phenomenological approach that is informed from feminist methodologies is deemed the most appropriate in researching mothers’ views of breastfeeding.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This paper is a discussion of the importance of choosing appropriate methodologies to research the breastfeeding experience of women in the United Kingdom. Despite a plethora of research emphasising the benefits of breastfeeding to maternal and infant health, there is a relative dearth of research from the United Kingdom about women’s experiences of breastfeeding. In order to understand the inherent complexities of successfully promoting and supporting breastfeeding, a mothers’ breastfeeding experience must be examined within her specific context. This is increasingly recognised as a vital tool in providing effective support by health care professionals in extending breastfeeding duration. As such, this highlights the importance that appropriate methodologies are chosen through which to explore this phenomenon from the perspective of those experiencing it. This paper debates the importance of philosophical lines of enquiry in relation to breastfeeding research, and argues that engaging with ontological perspectives would offer opportunities for researchers to engage with women’s understanding of breastfeeding in today’s society. A hermeneutic phenomenological approach that is informed from feminist methodologies is deemed the most appropriate in researching mothers’ views of breastfeeding.
Keywords:Breastfeeding, Ontology, Mothers' views, Hermeneutic phenomenology, Feminist methodologies
Subjects:B Subjects allied to Medicine > B720 Midwifery
B Subjects allied to Medicine > B700 Nursing
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
ID Code:3012
Deposited By: Alison Wilson
Deposited On:23 Jul 2010 12:18
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:42

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