The breastfeeding experiences of COVID-19-positive women: A qualitative study in Turkey


Asci O., DEMİRGÖZ BAL M., ERGİN A.

JAPAN JOURNAL OF NURSING SCIENCE, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/jjns.12453
  • Title of Journal : JAPAN JOURNAL OF NURSING SCIENCE
  • Keywords: breastfeeding, coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19, human milk, qualitative research, SUPPORT

Abstract

Aim The aim of the study was to determine the breastfeeding experiences of COVID-19-positive women. Methods This was a qualitative study of 14 women diagnosed with COVID-19. One-to-one telephone interviews were conducted and recorded. The data were analyzed thematically. Results Three main themes were identified. Theme 1 was "increased emotional load," outlining the emotional effects of the disease in the women, such as feeling sad and inadequate, in addition to anxiety and fear. Theme 2 was "breastfeeding during the disease," which illustrated the effects of the treatment process on the women, the disease-related symptoms, their influence on breastfeeding attitudes and behavior, and the effects of social media and television. Theme 3 was "perceived social support and need," defining the social support perceived and expected by the women during isolation with needs. Conclusion Women who could not get the professional support they expected had to face the difficult choice between taking medical treatment and breastfeeding. Many women refused drug treatment for COVID-19 and continued to breastfeed with all the resultant emotional and physical difficulties, as they believed in the benefits of mother's milk. The experiences of the women were discussed with an approach that enabled developing health care services further. It was concluded that Turkish health care professionals need to develop an evidence-based and female-centered approach for COVID-19 management in breastfeeding women.