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The benefits of breastfeeding for maternal and infants’ health are well-recognized. In comparison to other age groups of mothers, however, adolescent mothers have lower rates of breastfeeding duration and exclusivity. To develop unique breastfeeding intervention, it is crucial to understand how adolescent mothers perceived about breastfeeding. This study aimed to explore Thai adolescent mothers’ experiences related to breastfeeding for the first six months. A descriptive qualitative design was conducted using semi-structure in-depth interviews. Twenty adolescent mothers were purposively recruited. Descriptive statistics and content analysis were used for data analysis.
The findings revealed that adolescent mothers explained their breastfeeding experiences through the following five themes: identifying positive aspects of breastfeeding; breastfeeding challenges; social support; returning to work/studies, and breastfeeding in public. These themes were found to be related to breastfeeding decisions, duration, and exclusivity. Breastfeeding experiences among Thai adolescent mothers showed complex factors involving multilevel influences of social systems. Therefore, promotion and support of successful breastfeeding should recognize the influences of personal factors of adolescent mothers and their environments simultaneously, particularly complexity of family problems.
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