Sinead Hanafin, Mary Creedon, Kieran O’Dywer, Catherine Clune-Mulvaney
Journal of Health Visiting, Vol. 7, Iss. 2, 20 Feb 2019, pp 85 - 91

The literature on growth assessment in infancy suggests that, while it is an important tool for defining health and nutritional status, there are concerns about potential negative effects
from too frequent monitoring. The overall aim of this study was to estimate the value of public health nurse-facilitated breastfeeding group support in Ireland. The study was informed
by, and is coherent with, the methodology used to calculate a social return on investment (SROI). Data were collected from primary and secondary stakeholders using focus group, joint and individual interviews (n=75) and questionnaire survey (n=139). Quantitative descriptive analysis of survey data and thematic analysis of qualitative data took place. Mothers viewed their infant's weight as an objective measure of their ability to breastfeed and highlighted its importance in counteracting negative commentary. Public health nurses suggested that mothers need to have confidence in their own ability rather than relying on an external measure of success. It is concluded that the voices of mothers need to be heard in any debate about what is helpful for them.

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