A Sociological Study of the Lived Experiences of Women who Breastfeed in Public Spaces.
(2017) A Sociological Study of the Lived Experiences of Women who Breastfeed in Public Spaces., no. 88.
This dissertation is a phenomenological study of breastfeeding mothers' perceptions of breastfeeding. Data were gathered from a combination of a focus group discussion and from a go-along observation. A critical discussion of previous research reveals a poverty of phenomenological data on the lived experiences of breastfeeding in public amongst new mothers in Scotland. In this study, participants acknowledged the health benefits of breastfeeding and, in general, claim they are happy to breastfeed in public. Participants also refer to the importance of social support from friends and family. However the results also demonstrate that in some cases, participants have concerns in practice about breastfeeding in public, focusing on their beliefs about how other people in public spaces will react to their breastfeeding activities. Most of the concern seems to focus on the issue of women's breasts as sexualized objects, as well as the ways in which how and what participants, characterise as 'public' and 'private' spaces and which were deemed acceptable for breastfeeding.