Breastfeeding plays a very central role to both a mother as well as a child. To the child, it provides all essential nutrients required for the immune boosting (Proctor, 2006; Dalzel, Rogerson & Martindale, 2010). However, although breast milk plays an important role in the lives of all children, few insufficiencies have been recorded. Firstly, there is no sufficient information on the best ways of approaching breastfeeding (Adewale, 2006). Secondly, the first-time mothers continue to experience some problems in their efforts to breastfeed their newly born babies. It appears that the existing programs are being effective in educating young mothers.
The purpose of this study has been to describe the experiences of first-time mothers in their breastfeeding process determined at their newly born babies. The other purpose is also to investigate usefulness of the breastfeeding-related information that the healthcare professionals have provided to such mothers.
What percentage of first-time mothers was willing to breastfeed exclusively for the term of six months or more?
The research design used was cross-sectional approach. This means that the researcher sought answers to the research question from a variety of angles. Due to the nature of the research question, the researcher decided to use exclusively a quantitative approach. Although Maltby (2010) recommends use of mixed methods, the researcher was interested only in the quantitative aspects. According to Proctor (2006), numerically inclined investigations produce results with great statistical significance.
In order to give each participant an equal chance, random sampling was used. 1000 participants were selected from three-quarters of districts in Southern Canada. Participants were extracted from a prenatal program that ran in the country. Due to the national outlook of the program, and following the fact that the entire population universe could not be studied, only a few districts were selected.
Data was collected through a survey method. Therefore, there was a need for the research to be highly structured. As a result, structured questionnaires were used. Emphasis was laid on whether the participant was willing to breastfeed exclusively for six months
Data analysis was based on the research philosophy. Due to the quantitative approach, it was important to apply statistical methods in understanding the relationship between variables. The dependent variable was the number of months the participant was willing to breastfeed. The independent variables were the number of supportive programs, the numbers of hour health professionals spent with the participants and the number of healthcare workers. In order to establish the relationship between each independent variable and the dependent variable, regression analysis was used. According to Boswell and Cannon (2012), regression analysis is a statistical method used to determine the relationship between variables. Although many programs were in existence, only 60% of women were willing to breastfeed exclusively for six months.
Informed Consent and Ethical Considerations
In any research process involving human subjects, ethics is very important. This means that the participants must be treated in the way that maintains their dignity, protects their data and preserves it well. In this case, the initial step was to obtain the approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) (Maltby, 2010). Specifically, the researcher obtained the consent from the participants before recruiting them. This was done through filling of a consent form. After the recruitment, they were explained what had been expected of them. For instance, they were informed that if they were not interested, they could withdraw during the interview. They were assured of confidentiality. In order to secure the data collected from the participants, the data were stored in a tightly locked cabinet.
Advantages of Quantitative Methods
Although research could take several approaches, some are preferred to others. This is because of the inherent advantages at the disposal of each approach. Specifically, quantitative methods have several advantages over qualitative methods. In this case, they were the only set of approaches that could effectively answer the research question. Secondly, using quantitative methods is an easy way of establishing the statistical significance of as well as relationship among variables. On the other hand, qualitative methods only establish themes which come out of an inquiry. Moreover, qualitative methods are good in explaining the figures obtained in quantitative analyses.