Breastfeeding and Working Full Time: The Lived Experiences of Nurse Mothers in Karachi, Pakistan

Friday, 11 July 2008: 10:20 AM
Shehla Zafar, MScN , Institute of Nursing, Dow University of Health Sciences(DUHSION), Karachi, Pakistan

Learning Objective 1: know the problems of working nurses who are mothers and does not have proper facilities related to breastfeeding practies in karachi Pakistan

Learning Objective 2: give suggestions,ideas to make polices for breast feeding mothers who are nurses and working fulltime in different hospitals of karachi Pakistan

The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of working mothers who are nurses regarding their breastfeeding practices at work. Phenomenological study approach was used. Six hospitals from Karachi were selected for the collection of data. Twelve participants were interviewed who met the inclusion criteria.

Data was collected through unstructured formal interviews using interview guide. The interviews were audio taped and transcribed by the researcher. Literature review and data analysis were done simultaneously. Themes were generated manually using the Colaizzi's seven stage process. A set of eight interviews was used to generate initial categories. Similar feelings, perceptions, thoughts were given certain colour coding. Codes with similar meanings were grouped in order to acquire similar meanings from the participants and to make sense out of them. After colour coding, the researcher returned to each description and extracted the significant phrases or sentences which directly pertained to the study. The data was then organized into general categories and into sub categories; frequencies of each sub-category were sought out in order to make the final categories and to condense the categories to bring out the themes.

Three themes emerged from the data; which were positive experiences, mediating health behavior, and negative experiences.

The analysis of the data showed that the most consistent needs appear to be good maternity leave package, and a day care center in the hospital. Nurses who breast feed their infants go through a lot of emotional upheaval. Although they know the importance and value of breastfeeding, due to their working circumstances, they are unable to breastfeed, which is a big dilemma.

Breastfeeding brings into the mothers both positive and negative experiences which are mediated by mothers' health behaviors. Mothers who are working full time and are breastfeeding, find their entire experience rewarding as well as challenging.