Experiences with peer support for breastfeeding in Beirut, Lebanon: A qualitative study

Autoři: Tamar Kabakian-Khasholian aff001;  Hana Nimer aff001;  Soumaya Ayash aff002;  Fatima Nasser aff002;  Mona Nabulsi aff002
Působiště autorů: Department of Health Promotion and Community Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon aff001;  Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0223687



Despite the beneficial effects of peer support on breastfeeding, research on the process of peer support is scarce. In Lebanon, exclusive breastfeeding is only 15% in infants below six months. A multidisciplinary team launched a multi-component breastfeeding support intervention, with peer support, and professional lactation support provided by International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLs) to target this decline.


To describe the experiences of breastfeeding mothers and peer support providers with the process of breastfeeding support, and the influence of the intervention on their social support system.


Using a qualitative methodology, a purposive sample of breastfeeding and support mothers was accessed from among those who completed their six months interview in the trial taking place in two hospitals in Beirut, Lebanon. Data were collected from 43 participants using in-depth interviews and following the data saturation principle. All interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis was conducted, guided by the principles of grounded theory.


Breastfeeding mothers were satisfied with their breastfeeding experience, and extremely appreciative of the support provided by their peers and the IBCLCs. They experienced these forms of support differently. Peer support was perceived to be important in encouraging breastfeeding continuation, whereas IBCLC support was influential in problem solving.


These findings can improve our understanding of the peer and professional lactation support process within the social context, and the realities of breastfeeding mothers, and help facilitate the scaling up of interventions in similar contexts.

Klíčová slova:

Breast milk – Emotions – Infants – Mothers – Pregnancy – Social networks


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Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 10
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