It's not the contents, it's the container: Australian parents' awareness and acceptance of infant and young child feeding recommendations
Centre for Health Initiatives, University of Wollongong NSW 2522, Australia.Breastfeeding review: professional publication of the Australian Breastfeeding Association 07/2012; 20(2):31-5.
Adherence to public health recommendations around infant and young child feeding is poor amongst Australian parents. This study aimed to investigate Australian parents' awareness and acceptance of public health recommendations about infant feeding. A cross-sectional design was used to survey a convenience sample of Australian parents. A total of 439 surveys were collected by intercept over 2 days from parents of children less than 5 years old, including those expecting a first baby, at the Pregnancy, Babies and Children (PBC) Expo held in Sydney in May 2008. Only 58.3% were aware of the WHO and NHMRC recommendation of 6 months exclusive breastfeeding. Fewer than 70% of respondents indicated that they thought breastfeeding should continue to 12 months or later, in accordance with the NHMRC guidelines, and only 12.3% thought breastfeeding should continue to 24 months or later, in accordance with WHO recommendations. This research suggests that awareness and acceptance of infant feeding recommendations in Australia is poor.
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ABSTRACT: This study examined urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers' breastfeeding experiences to inform support for mothers and their families. The research took a strengths approach, using qualitative methodology. Twenty semi-structured in-depth face-to-face interviews were conducted and analysed thematically. Indigenous mothers of infants 3 to 12 months were recruited through a Brisbane Indigenous health service. All mothers recounted considerable physical and emotional energy invested in breastfeeding. Although early introduction of formula made sense for some mothers under stressful circumstances, timely pro-breastfeeding support from family and health professionals facilitated continued breastfeeding. Professional and social/family contacts play key roles in steering infant feeding outcomes. Mothers' experiences strongly influence infant feeding strategies. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community strengths are underutilised in supporting breastfeeding mothers. FUTURE IMPLICATIONS: Indigenous mothers, family and community strengths present points for engagement in future breastfeeding promotion and support initiatives.Breastfeeding review: professional publication of the Australian Breastfeeding Association 11/2013; 21(3):53-61.
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ABSTRACT: In 20th century Australia, free well-baby clinics were run by maternal and child health nurses, although the funding and organisational structure varied from state to state. It was assumed that women who attended followed the advice assiduously; yet attendance did not necessarily equate to practice. In Queensland, the state government's free Maternal and Child Welfare Service (MCW) advised mothers on infant feeding and care through well-baby clinics throughout the state, a correspondence section for mothers in remote areas and a railcar clinic to some western towns, under the state government's policy of covering every mother and baby in Queensland. Women in Queensland, as in other states, were exposed to other influences on how to feed babies and often exercised agency in making their own decisions according to their circumstances and their own judgment. This review will place research from Queensland on women's reasons for attending the clinics and adherence to the advice provided, during the period 1920-1965, within a wider context. This includes research on barriers to following advice, counselling versus imparting information and the mother's self-efficacy. The message for today is that adherence to advice still cannot be assumed and mothers' own circumstances need to be factored in.Breastfeeding review: professional publication of the Australian Breastfeeding Association 03/2014; 22(1):23-30.
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