Investigating the infant feeding experiences, attitudes and knowledge of Tasmanian mothers with infants aged between 0-36 months (TAS Infant Feeding Study)

Despite numerous policy initiatives and health promotion activities breastfeeding rates remain static in Tasmania and Australia. Many mothers stop breastfeeding well before their babies are 6 months old. Termed early cessation of breastfeeding, this phenomenon is apparent Australia wide; however, it appears to be particularly prevalent in Tasmania.

The BEAK Study now the TAS Infant Feeding study will engage a cross section of mothers from the broader Tasmanian community through focus group and interview participation of over 100 mothers, who are feeding infants or have stopped breastfeeding, in order to better understand the complexities surrounding infant feeding in general and breastfeeding cessation in particular. Mothers will have a chance to voice their views and experiences including those mothers who are socially and or geographically disenfranchised. At least half of the focus groups and interviews will include mothers living in rural or in areas classified as disadvantaged.

By learning what is important to mothers we hope develop more appropriate methods to prevent early cessation, support breastfeeding and monitor progress. At present this type of qualitative information is often not available from a rigorous source, rather information on mothers' experiences and attitudes is often acquired anecdotally or through personal observation.

This study has been funded by the Tasmanian Early Years Foundation Research Grant 2010-2011.

We have now finished stage one of the project where over 100 mothers participated in focus groups across Tasmania. We are continuing with this work in 2012 and currently conducting one - one interviews.

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Senior Members

  • Professor Mark Nelson (Professorial Research Fellow)

Team Leaders

  • Jennifer Ayton (Hargrave) (PhD Candidate/Research Officer)

Team Members

  • Dr Emily Hansen (Honorary Associate)
  • Leigh Tesch (Research Officer)