Presentation Information

Caoimhe Whelan

The All-Consuming Journey: Lived Experiences of Mothers with Primary Low Milk Production

  • Speaker: Caoimhe Whelan , B. Eng, IBCLC, MSc.
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 Nursing CEU, 1 CME, 0.1 Midwifery CEU, 1 Dietetic CEU

Most cis-women can exclusively breastfeed. However, a small cohort are unable to produce enough milk to exclusively breastfeed due to primary low milk supply (PLMS). This presentation will explore the findings of a qualitative study that employed Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to investigate the lived experiences of nine first-time breastfeeding mothers with PLMS. Four superordinate themes were identified. 'Being in the Whirlwind' captured the emotional and practical challenges faced by participants in the early months postpartum. ‘Being-with-Others' provided insights into participants’ experiences of engaging with healthcare professionals (HCPs), IBCLCs, and others. ‘Motherhood in the shadow of PLMS’ explored the participants accounts of being and becoming a mother who is unable to exclusively breastfeed and a fourth theme explored embodied aspects of having PLMS. Participants experienced the early months postpartum as a chaotic and emotionally traumatic whirlwind, in which efforts to increase milk supply were all-consuming. They had to find a way to journey out of this whirlwind, transcend the challenges of being a mother with PLMS and make peace with their experience. The findings highlight the importance of skilled and individualized breastfeeding support for parents with PLMS and illuminate specific areas for improving the support provided to women with PLMS.

Live Presentation Schedule

Apr 22, 2024