2002 Simmons V (2002). Exploring inconsistent breastfeeding advice: 2. British Journal of Midwifery, 10(10): 616-19.
Inconsistent breastfeeding advice and support has been linked to the early cessation of breastfeeding (Rajan 1993, Department of Health, 1988). The available literature fails to explain why inconsistent advice exists, or why this problem has developed and persists. The ability to understand why health-care professionals (HCPs) give the advice they do is central to understanding the perpetuation of variations in breastfeeding advice. This article is drawn from a qualitative study that involved interviewing midwives, health visitors and mothers who were or had breastfed within a trust in the north of England. Data were analysed and three main themes emerged. Conflicting advice is shown to have a detrimental effect on mothers who choose to breastfeed, inconsistency is mostly evident as inaccurate information and the authoritarian way that HCPs communicate to women appears to worsen the inconsistencies that exist.