Author(s): Mozingo JN, Davis MW, Droppleman PG, Merideth A
PURPOSE: To investigate the lived experiences of women who initiate breastfeeding but stop within the first 2 weeks after birth. DESIGN: Phenomenology. METHODS: Interviews were recorded on audio tape, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed for themes by an interdisciplinary group of researchers. RESULTS: Women described a clash or incongruity between highly idealized expectations and early breastfeeding problems. This led to incremental disillusionment and cessation of breastfeeding attempts. Women spoke poignantly about a sense of failure, guilt, or shame and had lingering self-doubts about not continuing with breastfeeding. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Women need more accurate information about the process of initiating breastfeeding. Nurses should avoid teaching breastfeeding practices that can confuse infants and sabotage mothers and should work toward providing sensitive care that respects personal boundaries of mothers. Additionally, provisions need to be made for continued support and consultation after the mother's discharge from the hospital or birthing center. Finally, nurses and other health professionals should understand that women who stop breastfeeding at an early date may feel guilty about doing so, and may need assistance in resolving feelings about having made that choice.