Skip to main content

“It’s a relief to talk…”: Mothers’ experiences of breastfeeding recorded in video diaries.

Taylor, A. M., 2015. “It’s a relief to talk…”: Mothers’ experiences of breastfeeding recorded in video diaries. Doctoral Thesis (Doctoral). Bournemouth University.

Full text available as:

Alison Mary Taylor VERY VERY final thesis word 18th January 2016.pdf



Background: Despite breastfeeding providing maximum health benefits to mother and baby, many women in the UK do not breastfeed, or do so briefly. Using tenets of ethnography, this study aimed to explore the everyday experiences of first time breastfeeding mothers in the early weeks following birth. Methods: Using a camcorder, five mothers captured their real-time experiences in a video diary, until they perceived their infant feeding was established. A multi-dimensional approach involving thematic analysis was developed to ensure that both the audio and visual elements of the data were analysed. Findings: Three themes, significant to mothers were identified. First, how the camcorder empowered mothers to record their experiences ‘24/7’, providing audiovisual insights into the socio-cultural context and embodied nature of breastfeeding. Embodying the camcorder enabled mothers to offload their thoughts, feelings and experiences in real-time, revealing an emotional rollercoaster. The second theme showed how the video diary provided a platform for mothers to work out how to survive their ‘state of flux’ with their breastfeeding baby. Deep personal reflection involved identity work and plans to get back to ‘normal’. The third theme highlighted the complex nature of support including what mothers experienced when they felt under medicalised surveillance by the healthcare team, nurtured, influenced or undermined by family and friends, and when they sought information for themselves. Conclusions: For the first time, this thesis reports on the ‘unique presence of being there’ to observe mothers’ real-time everyday experiences of breastfeeding as recorded in their video diaries. It reveals the unique therapeutic role of the camcorder, the evolving nature of mothers’ identities in the first few weeks after birth, the impact of commercialisation on breastfeeding and the negative impact of medicalised surveillance when healthcare workers scrutinised rather than supported breastfeeding mothers. Recommendations are made for practice, education, policy and further research.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Breastfeeding experiences ; Breastfeeding support ; Evolving identities ; commercialisation of Breastfeeding ; Medicalization of Breastfeeding ; Embodiment ; Emotional roller coaster ; postnatal research as therapy ; Qualitative research ; Ethnography ; Video diaries ; Audio-visual analysis ; Multidimentional analysis ; Nvivo ; Ethical dilemmas ; UK
ID Code:24514
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:16 Aug 2016 10:01
Last Modified:09 Aug 2022 16:03


Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...
Repository Staff Only -