What do women with gestational diabetes want for breastfeeding support? A participatory action research study.
Mothers who have gestational diabetes and their babies have higher risks for developing health conditions after birth which may be mitigated by breastfeeding. However, despite help from health professionals, these women do not breastfeed as often as pregnant women without diabetes. Asking women with gestational diabetes for their recommendations for change regarding antenatal breastfeeding support may reveal essential areas for improvement. To explore the experiences of women with gestational diabetes in relation to antenatal breastfeeding support and discover their recommendations for change, a participatory action research approach was used to generate meaning from the experiences of 30 women who participated in workshops in a regional Australian hospital. Key themes incorporated that women with gestational diabetes feel marginalised and treated differently from other pregnant women. They believe breastfeeding is hard and are frustrated by inconsistencies in their care and the information they receive. Women with gestational diabetes feel they would be better supported to breastfeed if hospitals provide more consistent and relevant information with connections to other women. Digital breastfeeding educational resources such as a website and evidence-based links such as mobile phone applications and continuous professional support by one trusted caregiver throughout pregnancy would be better suited to support breastfeeding with their busy lifestyles.
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