Investment in improved breastfeeding rates is a primary link to lessen the burden of associated childhood disease. The longer a woman can breastfeed the greater the accumulated health benefits to the child, both short and long term. Breastfeeding can be challenging for some women in the months after childbirth, and without effective support women can easily interrupt or cease breastfeeding entirely. Families in remote or regional areas of Australia have less available professional support than urban families and much load is placed on partners/fathers and family members to provide support. Even so, many women in the South West do successfully breastfeed for extended periods, including times when returning to work.
Examining the supportive partner behaviours towards women who extend breastfeeding, may highlight specific areas of strategy and proactive behaviours which may be identified, developed and promoted more widely to aid new families and in particular, other partners/fathers, in similar circumstances.
This initial community health based project will focus interviews with the partners of women who are currently breastfeeding and who have breastfed successfully for a minimum of six months following birth. Participants will be recruited via child health nurses at a supportive six to nine month child wellbeing check and also through community group advertisement on social media (WA Gov site) parenting groups based in the South West.
A short separate interview will be undertaken with the breastfeeding woman to verify information.
Demographic information and semi-structured interviews will form the basis of data collection, qualitative thematic analysis will provide insights to guide future intervention based projects to improve practice development strategies to sustain healthy regional families.
Project Area: Child health, family wellness, child nutrition, midwifery & mens health
Funding: Contact the School of Nursing & Midwifery
Supervisor(s): Dr Deborah Ireson
Project level: Masters, PhD
Start date: March 2019