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Exploring Online Social Support Groups, Part 2

journal contribution
posted 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.

History

Refereed

  • Yes

Volume

13

Issue number

1

Page range

24-31

Publication title

Clinical Lactation

ISSN

2158-0537

Publisher

Springer

File version

  • Accepted version

Language

  • eng

Legacy posted date

2022-04-26

Legacy creation date

2022-04-26

Legacy Faculty/School/Department

Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care

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