Exclusive Breastfeeding Perceptions and Breast Problems among First Time Mother in Urban Semarang Central Java: Qualitative Study

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Irmawati, Sri Achadi Nugraheni, Sulistiyowati, Ayun Sriyatmi


Background:Exclusive breastfeeding provides many health benefits for both mother and baby. WHO has recommended that all newborns should receive exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, however, the coverage of exclusive breastfeeding in Indonesia is not optimal yet (38%). There is a low perspective of comprehensive understanding of mothers' perceptions related to exclusive breastfeeding and breastfeeding problems that are experienced especially inprimiparous mothers.

Objective: The purpose of this qualitative study is to describe the perception of exclusive breastfeeding and breast problems that experienced by first time mothers.

Method: The qualitative study was conducted through unstructured interviews on 24 breastfeeding mothers with babies aged 6-23 months and mother’s companions while attending primary health care, also midwives in five selected primary health care in Semarang City, Central Java, Indonesia. Thematic analysis used to analyze the data.

Result: Mothers mostly have known about exclusive breastfeeding. However, the comprehensive understanding of exclusive breastfeeding related to the exclusivity and benefits are still low.  Mothers actively seeking an information related, however the information they got still inadequate. Breast problem that the mothers ever experienced is nipple blisters, this is related to the lack of experience, knowledge, and right breastfeeding skills (i.e., position and attachment). The majority of mothers seek a help to solve their problems to the closest person.

Conclusion:Developing a comprehensive, affordable, and sustainable health promotion strategy is necessary to increase mother’s knowledge, skills, motivation and also as a support team to solve their problems while breastfeed.

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