Feeding Guilt

Byrom, Anna (2013) Feeding Guilt. Practising Midwife, 16 (3). pp. 8-26.

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Breastfeeding is increasingly equated to ideologies of the 'good mother' in our society in response to a growing body of evidence identifying its benefits. Women who choose not to or are unable to breastfeed can experience a sense of guilt in response to cultural expectations that 'breast is best'. These negative feelings can impact upon their adaptation to and enjoyment of motherhood. This discussion paper examines the experience of maternal guilt with specific reference to infant feeding. An exploration of the reasons mothers may feel guilty about their feeding experiences is offered. Finally some suggestions are made about how midwives and breastfeeding advocates might improve care for mothers' emotional wellbeing.

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