A qualitative study on perceptions of first time mothers about breastfeeding

Kanai Lal Barik, Uttam Kumar Paul


Background: Breastfeeding is the easiest, cost effective and most successful intervention and the most effective life-saving interventions for the health of the newborn. In spite of profound beneficial effects of breast milk, breastfeeding rates in India are abnormally low. There is lack of qualitative data regarding breastfeeding in India. So, we have planned to assess the perceptions of first time mothers about breastfeeding at this middle part of Bengal.

Methods: The study was conducted in the Pediatric department of Burdwan Medical College, Burdwan, West Bengal. The study was one of qualitative descriptive types involving in depth interviews (IDI) of 21 first time mothers. The interviews were translated into English transcripts which were then analysed to find out suitable codes and categories.

Results: The results of the in-depth interviews of the 21 first time mothers could be divided into seven categories and each of which is further divided into several codes. The categories are:   Reaction of mother, inadequate breast milk, breast milk causing ailments of the baby, erroneous idea about breastfeeding, lack of time, lack of privacy and breast milk is best for my baby.

Conclusions: In this present study we have applied qualitative in-depth interview approach and able to find out different reasons of non-continuation of breastfeeding among the first-time mothers. Though they have to face challenges regarding continuation of breastfeeding but most of them felt that breastfeeding is best for their baby.


Breastfeeding, First time mothers, Qualitative study

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