First-time mothers with a history of infertility: Their internalized pressure to breastfeed

Academic Article


  • Background: The meaning of breastfeeding and breastfeeding experiences has been studied extensively in general and specific populations. However, there is little research about the meaning of breastfeeding and breastfeeding experiences in first-time mothers who were previously infertile. Objective: This article aims to understand the breastfeeding experiences of new mothers with a history of infertility. Methods: Twelve women who were first-time mothers and conceived their infants through fertility treatments were interviewed about their early postpartum experiences as part of a larger phenomenological study. Interview transcripts were reviewed, and data about breastfeeding were extracted and analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: One main theme from the breastfeeding data emerged, "Internalized Pressure to Breastfeed," with 3 subthemes: "My Only Chance to Breastfeed," "The One Natural Thing I Should Be Able to Do," and "Not Breastfeeding Means Failing at Motherhood." New mothers who have undergone fertility treatment equated breastfeeding with being the perfect mother and attached special meanings to the act of breastfeeding. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that mothers who were previously infertile have unique breastfeeding experiences. Health care professionals need to be sensitized to these women's internalized pressure to breastfeed. Additional research is needed to fully explore the breastfeeding experiences of this group of women.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ladores S; Aroian K
  • Start Page

  • 504
  • End Page

  • 510
  • Volume

  • 31
  • Issue

  • 3