Evid Based Nurs 3:131 doi:10.1136/ebn.3.4.131
  • Qualitative

Perceived breast milk inadequacy was related to sociocultural influences and the behaviour of women and their babies

 QUESTION: What are women's perceptions about the adequacy of their breast milk for the purpose of exclusively nourishing their babies?


Heideggerian phenomenology.


North of England, UK.


A convenience sample of 10 white, primiparous women between 21 and 36 years of age who had delivered at term, had a baby with an Apgar score of 8–10 at 10 minutes and a birth weight of ≥2.5 kg, and planned to exclusively breast feed for ≥3 months, were recruited during their postnatal period before discharge from a maternity unit.


Indepth interviews lasting 45–60 minutes were done in women's homes at 6, 12, and 18 weeks after birth. Women who supplemented with artificial milk during the study were still followed up, and those who completely discontinued breast feeding were interviewed once after the change in feeding practice. A total of 18 interviews were tape recorded, transcribed verbatim, and studied to develop emergent themes.

Main findings

3 women were still …

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