WHO and UNICEF believe that both antenatal and maternity care organizations are in an excellent position to protect and, if necessary, reinstate a culture that promotes breastfeeding, and that they are responsible for doing so. In Sweden, the number of breastfeeding women has been decreasing annually since 1996. Thus the aim of this study is to identify, describe and analyze the attitude midwives have towards the mother, child and breastfeeding when infant formula is given.
From the theoretical standpoint of Buber's I-Thou and I-It concept, the different attitudes during breastfeeding consultations are interpreted. By using a phenomenographic approach based on 101 accounts of varying lengths from 39 midwives, different attitudes or approaches were identified.
Four different approaches are distinguished in the breastfeeding consultation. The first is the family as a whole, the second is mother and child as separate and equal, the third views the mother as superior and the fourth views the child as superior.
The approach of the midwife is related to how she defines the overall perspective of the mother-child relationship and how she looks upon her relationship to the mother-child dyad. Her approach varies depending on whether she meets the mother and child as a subject, similar to herself, or whether she sees one of them as an object. A midwife may also take an outside position, as an object, thus excluding a genuine relationship with the mother. The results also indicate that health care professionals focus on parts of the whole instead of maintaining a holistic perspective.
2011. Vol. 6, no 1, 31 jan- p.