Breastfeeding plays a critical role in nourishing and protecting an infant. Nuampa et al. (2018) examine Thai adolescents’ breastfeeding experiences to understand their perceptions of breastfeeding and determine the challenges that contribute to lower breastfeeding duration and exclusivity rates in the population (Breastfeeding Experiences).
The purpose of this paper is to establish an understanding of breastfeeding experiences among Thai adolescent mothers for the first six months after delivery. Moreover, this study area forms a significant part of breastfeeding mothers’ care, informing the need for adequate sensitization on breastfeeding importance among adolescent and adult mothers.
Current statistics show that 38% of babies receive exclusive breastfeeding for six months (Nuampa et al., 2018). However, according to records presented by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Thailand was the lowest-ranking country in the Asia/Pacific region with exclusive breastfeeding rates at six months at 23.1%.
Nuampa et al. (2018) address a critical maternal health topic and offer a unique line of inquiry into adolescent mothers’ experiences in a region with the lowest exclusivity. I agree with the author’s rationale for conducting the study due to the low breastfeeding exclusivity and duration rates among adolescent mothers is a critical public health issue.
The study utilized a descriptive qualitative design. Since the researcher focused on adolescent mothers’ perspectives on infant feeding and breastfeeding experiences, a qualitative approach presents a naturalistic line of inquiry that allows expansive exploration of each adolescent mother’s individual experiences thematically. Moreover, it allows the researcher to understand participants’ viewpoints gather useful information applicable to healthcare practice, and assess findings based on themes and patterns.
To conduct semi-structured, in-depth interviews, the researchers ensured the participants met the criteria for selection. Consequently, based on research variables including age group 15 to 19 years old, first-time mothers, breastfeeding experiences. Moreover, having full-term infants aged six months, and able to speak the Thai language (Nuampa et al., 2018) (Breastfeeding Experiences).
These measures were suitable in sample selection, as well as attaining the research’s purpose. In the semi-structured interviews, the research focused on the individual experiences of participants. One question stated, “Could you tell me about your breastfeeding experiences?” signifying that the questions focused on the individual insight of each mother best attained through in-depth interviews.
Nuampa et al. (2018) obtained a sample of 20 adolescent mothers from the facility site in a university hospital in Bangkok. The population of the study remains adolescent mothers with six months aged infants and with breastfeeding experiences. The sample population selection done based on convenience sampling, which limits the generalizability of the findings. Secondly, the sample does not fairly represent the population under study as the different factors that may affect an adolescent mother’s breast experiences such as culture, socioeconomic status, education level, and health experiences are not accounted for and vary widely in different countries.
Upon conducting the research, the study determined that the significant themes in adolescent mothers breastfeeding experiences are identifying the benefits of breastfeeding and the underlying challenges of breastfeeding, family and health support, the ability to return to work and studies, and perspectives on breastfeeding in public (Nuampa et al. 2018).
The researchers shared the interview questions’ responses, highlighting the perspectives that could lead to an informed judgment on the study. The participants’ responses help underline the key themes and how they influence breastfeeding duration and exclusivity rates among adolescent mothers.
The study also shares both positive and negative feedback from different participants, meaning measurements and variables used, addressed the most significant issues among them. The table presented in the article shows participants’ demographic characteristics allowing one to determine patterns and trends in this particular study (Nuampa et al. 2018).
Surprisingly, I noted an alarming trend among the participants. Despite being young, some adolescent mothers were already divorced or separated, meaning adolescents are married off while still in school or are forced to drop out. This also makes social support a critical theme in understanding the perspectives of breastfeeding adolescent mothers (Breastfeeding Experiences).
Besides, in cases where adolescent mothers have to drop out of school, they take up housewife responsibilities in their households. The participants explained that they had unintended pregnancies forcing them to drop out of school besides having tentative plans and living with dependency status. Consequently, such conditions greatly influenced breastfeeding experiences and were sufficiently addressed or investigated by the researchers. From these trends and patterns, I can now understand the reasoning behind the author’s need to establish a line of inquiry into breastfeeding mothers’ experiences.
Discussion (Breastfeeding Experiences)
I agree that adolescent mothers in this study emphasized emotional advantages, encouraging them to sustain breastfeeding duration. Participants expressed happiness and satisfaction with infant development, given that it enhanced closeness and positive infant responsiveness. Moreover, the most common causes of breastfeeding failure included poor knowledge and skills such as nipple pain, exhaustion from the frequency of feeds, and independence.
I agree that practicing breastfeeding skills and creating a breastfeeding log will most likely help adolescent mothers deal with sleep deficits caused by exhaustion. The fact that the author presents findings by using past research to inform current research confirms my position on supporting the conclusions. In this regard, the conclusions are appropriately careful in summarizing the main points. Further experiments that could continue this research may involve assessing healthcare institutions’ role in ensuring breastfeeding mothers receive adequate knowledge on the benefits of breastfeeding.
I have learned a lot from the research paper and now have a new perspective on breastfeeding in general, for instance, on the strategies that contribute to improved care among adolescent mothers with infants born within six months. Evidence-based nursing presents numerous approaches that can be used to address health-related concerns. Nursing professionals should provide adequate and effective breastfeeding education and preparation immediately after delivery, coupled with comprehensive breastfeeding benefits (Nuampa et al. 2018).
Moreover, nursing staff should provide adolescent mothers with platforms to access and seek support from key stakeholders involved. It also includes new techniques such as correct position and good latching. With the help of policies, the nursing practice may be enhanced by nurses being more involved in breastfeeding promotion through new trends in breastfeeding policy, knowledge, and skills.
For my patient this fall, I would be very careful and precise in understanding all breastfeeding aspects. The research findings are practicable and can be done on both adolescents and adults. The most sensitive part I noted was that of support. Educational support, nursing, and societal support are the critical elements I would integrate into a care plan. This will involve taking mothers through due processes and initiatives to inform and support young mothers and lead to better health outcomes for the mother and the infant.
Nuampa, S., Tilokskulchai, F., Sinsuksai, N., Patil, C. L., & Phahuwatanakorn, W. (2018). Breastfeeding experiences among Thai adolescent mothers: A descriptive qualitative study. Pacific Rim International Journal of Nursing Research, 22(4), 288-303.