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Research Urban and Regional Studies Institute PRC

Infant Feeding Practice in Northern Netherlands

Principal researcher

Bettie Oosterhoff

Type of research

PhD research


Prof. Inge Hutter Hinke Haisma

Summary of the project

In the Netherlands 81% of the newborn infants is nourished by mothers’ milk exclusively. After one month this percentage is 48% and after three months 30%. Former research showed that the reasons women mentioned for early weaning are “not enough milk”, “breastfeeding is painful” and “work”.Campaigns focused on the health benefits of longterm breastfeeding did not influence breastfeeding rates yet. Research showed that many mothers are aware of the health benefits but do not practice longterm breastfeeding.To get insight in the underlying motives for breastfeeding duration qualitative research is required. In this study these motives will be investigated in order to facilitate mothers in their infant feeding choices.

The Hutter-Hennink Qualitative Research Cycle will be applied as a methodological framework. According to this model there is a continuous process of defining questions, designing, choosing research instruments, gathering data, analyzing and interpreting.In this study data will be collected by conducting prepartum and postpartum face-to-face in-depth interviews. Participants will be recruited from two communities in northern Netherlands. One group of participants is recruited from a middle-sized town in the province of Friesland and consists of middle and high SES mothers. The other group will be low SES women in a rural area in the northeastern part of the province of Groningen. All interviews will be transcribed ad verbatim and analysed by content analysis using grounded theory. The interview guides are based on the concepts of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB). This TPB is the deductive model. Applying grounded theory may generate additional components and a new inductive model.

Presentations and publications

  • Overwegingen van moeders om volledige borstvoeding in de eerste maand te stoppen of te continueren. Een kwalitatief onderzoek”. AT Oosterhoff, AM van Beilen, HH Haisma. Poster presentation Conference “Ketenzorg in de verloskunde” KNOV/SOV. Utrecht, 11th December 2008
  • “Indigenous Knowledge and Infant Feeding Behaviour”. AT Oosterhoff. Presentation Team of researchers, Research and Innovation Group in Health Care and Nursing, Hanze University of Applied Sciences.Groningen, 16th November 2009
  • “Indigenous Knowledge and Infant Feeding Practice: A Qualitative Study”. AT Oosterhoff. Presentation Conference on Qualitative Research Methods and launching of RIQSHA Research and Innovation Group in Health Care and Nursing, CaRES, University of Applied Sciences. Groningen, 13th April 2010
  • “Preparing for Breastfeeding: Time between Intention and Behaviour. Insights from a qualitative study”. AT Oosterhoff, I Hutter, A Bailey, HH Haisma. Poster presentation Conference on Qualitative Health Research, University of Alberta. Vancouver, 3rd-5th October 2010 #
  • First-time breastfeeding: dilemmas between intention and practice in middle and high SES mothers in northern Netherlands. A.T.Oosterhoff, I Hutter, HH Haisma. Presentation at Popfest,Groningen, 27th June 2011.
  • "Eigen kennis van moeders en voeding van zuigelingen in Noordoost Groningen". A.T. Oosterhoff. Thesinge, 12 juli 2012. Presentatie Symposium Participerende Benadering in Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek.
  • "Recommendations for Exclusive Breastfeeding and the Voice of Women". A.T.Oosterhoff, I. Hutter, H.H.Haisma. Trieste, 27th Sept.-1st Oct. 2012. Poster presentation at ISRHML. International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation.
  • "Knowledge Sources and Mothers' Decision-making: different sectors in an infant feeding health care system". A.T.Oosterhoff. Groningen, 16 mei 2013. Presentation Seminar Department of Demography, University of Groningen.
  • "Toward a non-Normative Approach of Health Literacy in Breastfeeding Mothers". A.T.Oosterhoff, I.Hutter, H.H.Haisma. Halifax, 26th-29th October 2013. Poster presentation. Conference Qualitative Health Research.

Last modified:11 March 2014 1.08 p.m.