Journal of Japan Academy of Midwifery
Online ISSN : 1882-4307
Print ISSN : 0917-6357
ISSN-L : 0917-6357
Mothers' experiences of continuing breastfeeding while working after returning to work following childbirth
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2018 Volume 32 Issue 1 Pages 49-59



The principal aim of the present study was to describe the experiences of mothers regarding continuation of breastfeeding after returning to work following childbirth.


Cooperation of two maternity homes in an urban area was sought for the study. Data were collected using focus group interviews with 10 women who were breastfeeding after childbirth and desired to continue breastfeeding before returning to work or school. Data were qualitatively analyzed using the content analysis method.


The subjects were eight women who returned to work and two who returned to academia after childbirth (age range: 20-40 years). The time taken to return to work was between two and 10 months postpartum. Regarding the method of breastfeeding before return to work, nine subjects selected breastfeeding and one selected mixed feeding; following return to work, four selected breastfeeding and six selected mixed feeding.

A total of 200 codes, 61 subcategories, and 17 categories were extracted from the data. The following seven categories were extracted from data of women who returned to work following childbirth and continued breastfeeding while working: “selection of continuing to breastfeed after returning to work as a mother,” “preparation and adjustment in anticipation of breastfeeding after return,” “presence of supporters for continuation of breastfeeding,” “continuation of breastfeeding as part of life,” “various barriers to maintain balance,” “values and stance regarding breastfeeding,” and “happiness of child becoming happiness for self.”


On returning to work or academia, the women selected to continue breastfeeding as a mother and had various experiences while continuing breastfeeding. Our results suggest that midwives need to understand that women returning to work after childbirth have such experiences and provide support for these women.

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© 2018 Japan Academy of Midwifery
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