Breastfeeding Expectations and Experiences: Associations with Mood and Well-being

Shayle, Amy (2015) Breastfeeding Expectations and Experiences: Associations with Mood and Well-being. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

[thumbnail of Breastfeeding_expectations_and_experience._A.Shayle.pdf]
Download (7MB) | Preview


Research indicates that there are benefits to both the mother and infant of breastfeeding. Campaigns have been launched in the UK with some efficacy in increasing the numbers reporting an intention to breastfeed, however, breastfeeding continuation rates remain relatively low. It is known that women’s expectations of breastfeeding are important when considering breastfeeding continuation. It is also recognised, that for women there is the potential of impact on postnatal mood and wellbeing when expectations of breastfeeding are not met by experience.
The study aimed to explore the relationship between prenatal breastfeeding self-efficacy, mood and well-being and breastfeeding expectations. It then aimed to explore the relationship between a discrepancy between breastfeeding expectation and experience and postnatal mood and well-being.
Participants (N= 63) were first time mothers attending NHS antenatal groups reporting an intention to breastfeed. They completed a measure of breastfeeding expectation, breastfeeding self-efficacy and mood and well-being prenatally. Participants were asked to complete further measures of breastfeeding experience, mood and well-being around 12 weeks postnatally (N=29).
It was found that women’s prenatal breastfeeding self-efficacy correlated with their breastfeeding expectations. Breastfeeding social expectations were found to positively correlate with prenatal mood and well-being, while breastfeeding expectations of self were found to be independent of prenatal mood and well-being. Postnatally women’s experiences of breastfeeding were not found to differ significantly from their expectations.
Overall, the results suggest that women’s social expectations of breastfeeding may be associated with their mood and well being prenatally. It is considered that breastfeeding expectations of self, however, were not associated with current functioning. It was observed in the current study that breastfeeding expectations were being met by experience, and therefore why an impact on postnatal mood and wellbeing would not be expected is discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Stacey Armes
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2016 11:50
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2016 11:50

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item