Breastfeeding Experiences of Latina Migrants Living in Spain: A Qualitative Descriptive Study

Referencia: Iglesias-Rosado, B. & Leon-Larios, F. (2021). Breastfeeding experiences of Latina migrants living in Spain: a qualitative descriptive study. Int Breastfeed J 16, 76.

Resumen: Background. The migratory flows in Spain have changed due to the arrival of a diverse migrant population. Among the new migrants the Latino collective predominate with more than half being women of childbearing age. There are no previous studies exploring breastfeeding experiences of migrants in a country where their mother tongue is spoken. This study aimed to explore Latina migrants’ breastfeeding experiences in a Spanish-speaking country.

Methods. A descriptive qualitative study was carried out in the main province in southern Andalusia between November 2019 and June 2020. The study used intentional sampling. The study participants were contacted by video calls and data were collected through a semi-structured in-depth interview (n = 19). The interviews were transcribed and analysed by thematic analysis.

Results. The nineteen participants were aged between 22 and 43 years old and came from six different countries in Latin America. The two main categories that emerged were breastfeeding facilitators and barriers, divided into ten interrelated sub-categories: working conditions; precarious socioeconomic conditions; lack of support (health professionals, family and society); physiological changes, pain and fatigue; ignorance and wrong beliefs; support networks (partner, health professionals and family); host country versus home country; religious practices/worship; appropriate attitude, knowledge and experience; and breastfeeding support groups. Most of the study participants stated that their breastfeeding experiences were influenced by barriers such as work and by facilitators such as peer support.

Conclusions. More support from caregivers and more sensitivity to cultural diversity were demanded by the women and well-trained professionals are needed to enable breastfeeding for a longer time. This paper provides caregivers, such as nurses, more knowledge about the care demanded by migrant women to ensure a longer breastfeeding experience.

Palabras clave: Barriers, Breastfeeding, Facilitators, Immigrants, Migrants, Latinas, Qualitative study.

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