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Summary


A QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS ON THE EFFICIENCY OF BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT PROVIDED BY HEALTH PROFESSIONALS FROM A SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE
Breastfeeding has many significant psychological and health benefits on infants and mothers. The breastfeeding support of health professionals play a considerable role on breastfeeding motivation of mothers in post-partum period. Promotion of breastmilk and breastfeeding policy of Turkish health system especially targets to give consultancy to mothers via specialized health professionals and the quality of counseling and support affects the initiation and continuation of breastfeeding. The aim of this study is to reveal the experiences of mothers and breastfeeding consultants on the quality and efficiency of breastfeeding support provided by health professionals and as a result to analyse to what extent the aims of breastfeeding promoting strategy correspond with the real life experiences. Within this context, semi-structured interviews are carried out with seven mothers who had given birth within a year and received breastfeeding support from a health professional and with five breastfeeding consultants who work in private or under a health institution. The participant groups of the study are constituted by using snowball sampling technique. Qualitative research methods are used in the study. Findings of the study are discussed in the light of sociological concepts as biopower, governmentality and medicalization of breastfeeding. Findings show that there is a gap between expectations and experiences of mothers regarding breastfeeding support and mothers experience pressure, inadequacy and weakened autonomy in their interactions with health professionals. There is a need of a long-term and individualized breastfeeding counseling and support which is empathetic and sensitive to psychological needs of mothers

Keywords
Breastmilk, breastfeeding, bio-power, governmentality, medicalization

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