Infant-feeding among low-income women: the social context that shapes their perspectives and experiences

Can J Nurs Res. 2013 Sep;45(3):28-49. doi: 10.1177/084456211304500303.


This article explores the perspectives of low-income women in order to better understand the social context that shapes their infant-feeding perspectives and experiences. The authors used purposive sampling to conduct 3 focus groups with 19 women who were formula-feeding their infants in 1 urban and 2 rural communities in the eastern region of the island of Newfoundland in Canada. Elements of the social context for infant-feeding included the prevalence of myths and misinformation about breastfeeding; cultural expectations about infant behaviour; the postnatal experience, including the medicalization of birth and breastfeeding; partner support and child-care workload; cultural stigma of breastfeeding; and a moralizing ideology that equates breastfeeding with "good mothering. "The authors discuss the implications of the findings from a nursing and public health perspective, offering 7 recommendations for how nurses and health professionals might better support women and their families.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Poverty*