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THE EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE OF BREAST EXPRESSION

Authors

  • Janice M. Morse rn, phd,

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    • Janice M. Morse is a Professor, Faculty of Nursing and a Research Associate, Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta; an Associate Clinical Nurse Researcher, University of Alberta Hospitals, and an NHRDP Research Scholar. Her research interests are culture and health, clinical nursing research, and women's health. She has received Ph.D. degrees in both Nursing and Anthropology.

  • Joan L. Bottorff rn, med

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    • Joan L. Bottorff is a Project Director and a master's candidate in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta. Her research interests focus on breastfeeding and women's health.


Dr. Janice M. Morse, Professor, Faculty of Nursing, 3–120 Clinical Sciences Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2G3 Canada.

ABSTRACT

Observation of 61 successful lactating mothers showed that while some mothers were able to express their breasts easily, other could not. Open-ended, interactive interviews on the process and problems of expressing were conducted. Data analysis, using grounded theory methods, revealed that expressing had a different meaning to the two groups of mothers. Those mothers who perceived expressing as mechanical and messy experienced feelings of embarrassment and awkwardness; These feelings interfered with let-down when expressing, and mothers became total breastfeeders or used mixed feeding without expressing. Mothers who expressed their breasts easily had a relaxed attitude towards expressing; The milk obtained increased their confidence in nursing. The knowledge that their infant was receiving breastmilk even in their absence was considered to be the “door to freedom.”

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