More than 90% of all children 2-6 years of age attend preschool in Sweden. The aim of this study is to increase our understanding of how mothers who breastfeed preschool children experience being treated by preschool staff.
Semi-structured interviews with qualitative content analysis.
Requests for participation in the study were published on breastfeeding or parent-related internet forums.
Ten mothers who had breastfed while their children had attended preschool were interviewed.
All mothers felt breastfeeding beyond infancy made them "different", which made them feel vulnerable. Breastfeeding was often met with silence from preschool staff, which the mothers feared to be a sign of dislike. Breastfeeding could also be suspected to cause problems.
It is important that preschool teachers are aware that some preschool children continue to breastfeed and that they are prepared to interact with families appropriately. FUTURE IMPLICATIONS: More research about different aspects of breastfeeding beyond infancy is clearly needed.