The role of early years care providers in supporting continued breastfeeding and breast milk feeding

Lindsay Dombrowski, Susan Henderson, Joyce Leslie, Khadija Mohammed, Dorothy Johnson, Nancy Allan

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This paper discusses challenges faced by mothers who seek to continue breastfeeding and/or breast milk feeding (B/BMF) whilst using daytime childcare, and early years practitioners’ attitudes toward their role in the support of these feeding practices. The dataset being reported comes from a small-scale feasibility study that was conducted in the summer of 2015 at a childcare provider site in a highly deprived urban area of Scotland. Focus groups with B/BMF mothers, as well as with early years practitioners were conducted. We report data pertaining to where responsibility lies for facilitating continued B/BMF, and on the perception of practitioners’ attitudes, knowledge about, skills and providers’ facilities for B/BMF. We recommend that care providers actively engage prospective parents in a discussion about how they can support continued B/BMF. This original data is contextualised and critically discussed within the wider literature with special attention being paid to the concepts of unintended consequences.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1430123
Number of pages16
JournalEarly Years
Early online date12 Feb 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Feb 2018



  • breastfeeding
  • breast milk
  • childcare
  • early years

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