Women's experiences of breastfeeding in an out-of-hospital birthing community Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/b2773x99x

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  • In this thesis, I examine the experiences of breastfeeding mothers who chose to give birth with Certified Professional Midwives at a free-standing birth center, and the factors that influence their known high rates of breastfeeding initiation and duration. Using grounded theory and data collected from participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and an open-ended survey, I describe the functioning of the birth center and the breastfeeding explanatory models of the birth center staff as well as how the birth center's model of care affects client-participant's experiences of breastfeeding in community that rejects medicalized models of birth and breastfeeding. Findings interpreted from a biocultural perspective reveal how women utilize previously constructed breastfeeding convictions to navigate support and difficulties in a way that allows 92% of client-participants to report overall happiness about their breastfeeding experiences. There was, however, a small subset of women who were disappointed in their breastfeeding experience. Recommendations include changes in care practice to further support breastfeeding women in this community.
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