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Factors influencing infant feeding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their families: a systematic review of qualitative evidence

Version 2 2024-06-02, 15:05
Version 1 2024-01-12, 00:01
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-02, 15:05 authored by Fiona MitchellFiona Mitchell, Troy Walker, Karen Hill, Jennifer BrowneJennifer Browne
Abstract Background Breastfeeding provides all the necessary energy and nutrients for an infant and provides many benefits for mothers and babies. The effects of colonisation have contributed to reduced prevalence and duration of breastfeeding among Australian Aboriginal women and widespread use of infant formula as a substitute for breastmilk. This review aimed to synthesise qualitative evidence about the factors that influence breastfeeding and infant feeding practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their families. Methods MEDLINE, CINAHL, Informit and Google Scholar were systematically searched for qualitative studies that included the perspective of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their families about the factors influencing infant feeding decisions. Included studies were appraised using an Indigenous quality assessment tool and were synthesised via inductive thematic analysis informed by an ecological framework. Results The search identified 968 studies with 7 meeting the inclusion criteria. Key factors influencing breastfeeding and infant feeding practices of Aboriginal women included cultural practices, normalisation of bottle feeding, shame associated with breastfeeding in public, access to culturally safe nutrition education, support services and health professionals, family/partner support, knowledge of the benefits of breastfeeding, experiences with previous babies and concern that the baby was not getting enough milk. Conclusion The perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women must be considered when providing breastfeeding and infant feeding advice. This can be achieved through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people designing, implementing, and leading the delivery of education and information regarding breastfeeding and health infant feeding practices that have been influenced by the priorities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

History

Journal

BMC Public Health

Volume

23

Article number

297

Pagination

1-15

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

1471-2458

eISSN

1471-2458

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

1

Publisher

BMC

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