Main Article Content
Purpose: To explore the experiences and contextual factors, including barriers and facilitators, related to exclusive breastfeeding for full-time working mothers before and after returning to work.
Design: Qualitative research employing interviews.
Methods: A total of 29 full-time working mothers were selected for purposive sampling from well-baby and lactation clinics at Siriraj Hospital. Data were collected through semi-structured face-to-face interviews at 2, 4, and 6 months postpartum and analyzed by using content analysis.
Main findings: Four main themes of experiences and contextual factors, including barriers and facilitators related to exclusive breastfeeding, emerged. These were: 1) Insufficient information for breastfeeding during work. Mothers could not prepare for breastfeeding prior to returning to work and faced problems with insufficient breast milk; 2) Struggles in maintaining sufficient breast milk for 6 months depending on working contexts that supported breast milk expression. This included work characteristics, feeling secure at work, and understanding and support from colleagues; 3) Seeking information to facilitate breastfeeding. Mothers received insufficient information on methods of breast milk expression and feeding breast milk to their babies; and 4) Support from family members and child care workers. These could be both a support and an obstacle to breastfeeding.
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