Mothers’ decision-making about, and experiences of, weaning in Ambala City, Haryana, India: a qualitative study

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Sharma, Deepika (2020) Mothers’ decision-making about, and experiences of, weaning in Ambala City, Haryana, India: a qualitative study. Research Master thesis, Victoria University.

Abstract

Evidence-based studies in India suggest that support from family members and health care professionals help mothers to make decisions about infant-feeding. However, early initiation of weaning and introduction of pre-lacteal food are common practices in India, and there is limited literature exploring factors influencing mothers’ decisions about weaning. Therefore, the aims of the present study were to explore first-time mothers’ experiences of weaning, and to identify the factors influencing their decision-making about weaning. A qualitative research methodology was used incorporating semi-structured interviews and observations with 30 mothers of young infants, in Ambala City, Haryana, India. A thematic analysis of the data was undertaken. Two themes were abstracted from the data: deciphering the signals and weaning as a reciprocal and cooperative process. The findings of the study suggested that, in response to deciphering the signals, the mothers commenced weaning initially with spoon-feeding, then as a transitional and overlapping process between spoon- and self-feeding. Weaning was depicted as a reciprocal and cooperative process between the mother and infant. It entailed the cooperative and progressively active and autonomous participation of the infant. At the same time, it entailed the adoption of an active and controlling approach by the mother initially, shifting increasingly to a less active and monitoring approach. Overall, the study provides a valuable insight into how weaning commenced and progressed with a group of first-time mothers, and the factors influencing their decision-making about weaning, in India.

Additional Information

Master of Nursing

Item type Thesis (Research Master thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/41805
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1110 Nursing
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords India; mothers; decision-making; infant-feeding; weaning; pre-lacteal food; first-time mothers; Ambala City
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