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18.09.2017 | Ausgabe 6/2017

International Journal of Behavioral Medicine 6/2017

Breastfeeding (Un)Covered: Narratives of Public Breastfeeding on Romanian Discussion Forums

Zeitschrift:
International Journal of Behavioral Medicine > Ausgabe 6/2017
Autor:
Diana Tăut

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was to explore the construction of breastfeeding in public, as depicted in the stories and the opinions of women participating in discussions on public forums.

Method

There were 8 discussion forums selected, from which 769 messages were subjected to a narrative analysis further informed by recurrent themes identified in the literature and across messages. The emerging narratives were grouped based on their valence, and three broader categories of themes were formed, highlighting the predominant tone towards breastfeeding in public.

Results

The three broader themes, ‘public restraint of breast(feeding) as acknowledgement of the cultural status-quo’, ‘permission within boundaries’ and ‘breast(feeding) as a human right’, depict various meanings and experiences associated with public breastfeeding. People seeing breasts as mainly a cultural symbol of sexuality were more against public breastfeeding and more in favour of covering up or striving to discretion. Those arguing that breastfeeding is no more than exercising a fundamental right and pleading for breast as a primary maternal symbol were more in favour of breastfeeding in public.

Conclusion

Aiming to understand personal and social perspectives on public breastfeeding is informative for understanding cultural differences in breastfeeding rates but also for designing effective interventions to promote it.

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