Go With the (Milk) Flow. Infant feeding practices and premature introduction of solids in rural Eastern Cape South Africa

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Institutionen för kulturgeografi och ekonomisk geografi; Lunds universitet/LUMID International Master programme in applied International Development and Management

Sammanfattning: This study uses an intersectional approach to examine and understand how different social and cultural norms impact women’s agency when choosing infant feeding practice. The study wishes to broaden the debate on how women can succeed with breastfeeding or the infant feeding practice of her choice and decrease harmful premature introduction of solids such as Nestum®. Data was collected via group and individual interviews in Ginyitsimbi, Eastern Cape, South Africa and focuses on understanding women’s lived experiences.Particular attention was given to how power relations and demographic hierarchies intersect on women’s choice of feeding practice and the premature introduction of solids as well as social and cultural viewings of motherhood. The theoretical framework was constructed by the work of Bourdieu as well as Kabeer and helped to analyze the findings. These suggest that women’s choice of infant feeding practice is affected by broader contextual factors that through normative expectations on motherhood and demographic hierarchies impact on women’s agency and decision-making power. The study stresses the importance of community support and information as it aspires to inform and improve attitudes and practices for infant feeding support. These are key elements for enabling the acceptance of breastfeeding and improving infant feeding knowledge.

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