Breastfeeding experiences of mothers from disadvantaged groups: a review

E MacGregor, Mark Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the World Health Organization promoting breastfeeding as the optimal feeding method for infants, the breastfeeding initiation rates within these disadvantaged groups' remains low. It is important to identify the factors that prevent these groups from initiating and establishing successful breastfeeding. This review aims to identify the breastfeeding experiences of teenage mothers and mothers from low income groups. Qualitative research papers were identified using electronic and manual searches by following a systematic methodology. Nine relevant articles were critically analysed using a qualitative Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tool. Coding of the nine papers generated six themes. The benefits of breastfeeding known to these mothers were often superseded by the perceived barriers of breastfeeding, while the decision to breastfeed was frequently influenced by their social support network and prior exposure to breastfeeding. Disadvantaged mothers may require extra input and support to overcome any problems associated with breastfeeding. Developing healthcare professionals' capabilities to educate these disadvantaged groups, their social networks and the public about breastfeeding is crucial if it is to become established within our society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-3
Number of pages4
JournalCommunity Practitioner
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


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