A systematic review of men’s views and experiences of infant feeding: implications for midwifery practice

Earle, Sarah and Hadley, Robin (2018). A systematic review of men’s views and experiences of infant feeding: implications for midwifery practice. MIDIRS Midwifery Digest, 28(1)

Abstract

It is understood that men can perform an important role with respect to infant feeding, although questions remain as to how significant this role might be. In addition, much of the research on men and infant feeding is information gathered from women, rather than from the men themselves. In order to explore these issues further, a systematic review of the qualitative research in infant feeding has been carried out, focusing only on studies that have sought to elicit men’s own views and experiences. Evidence was identified through a variety of search strategies including database searching and manual citation searches, as well as searching the grey literature for unpublished data. A total of 20 research papers were included in the review and each study was summarised and analysed thematically to produce a synthesis. Five major analytical themes were identified: men’s knowledge of infant feeding; men’s views of health promotion; men’s role in infant feeding; men’s positive views on breastfeeding; and men’s negative views on breastfeeding. This paper explores these themes in the context of what the research implications might be for midwives and their practice.

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