Exploring Online Social Support Groups, Part 2
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-30, 19:52 authored by Amanda J. Wagg, Alexander Hassett, Margie M. Callanan
Background- Facebook support groups are becoming frequently used by mothers to support them in breastfeeding. Aim- To explore how breastfeeding mothers make sense of and interpret their experiences of online social support groups, and the perceived impact of group use. Method- Ten semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted, data transcribed, and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Results- This article reports on two of four themes. Breastfeeding women seek different types of support at different times in their breastfeeding journey, and the groups were seen to offer emotional, technical, informational, and experiential support. Professional support was sought for “major” issues, but the experiences of like-minded others were important for most women, managing the day-to-day challenges and emotions when becoming a mother and breastfeeding. They provide a community of likeminded people who support the mother to build confidence and provide reassurance that normalizes breastfeeding and leads to reciprocity and activism. Conclusion- Mothers appreciated the informational, emotional, and experiential support that the online groups offered; support that provided confidence, reassurance, and normalized breastfeeding.
Publication titleClinical Lactation
- Accepted version