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The breastfeeding experience of women with major difficulties who use the services of a breastfeeding clinic: a descriptive study

Caroline Lamontagne1, Anne-Marie Hamelin2* and Monik St-Pierre1

Author Affiliations

1 Public Health Office in the Capitale-Nationale, Québec, G1E 7G9, Canada

2 Department of Food Sciences and Nutrition, Université Laval, Québec, G1V 0A6, Canada

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International Breastfeeding Journal 2008, 3:17  doi:10.1186/1746-4358-3-17

Published: 5 August 2008



Many women experience breastfeeding difficulties. Sometimes these difficulties lead to breastfeeding cessation. Breastfeeding clinics provide support for women facing such problems. This study aims to describe the breastfeeding experience of women, particularly those who use the services of the breastfeeding clinic located in the Greater Quebec City area.


This is a descriptive study based on information gathered through telephone questionnaires that were administered in 2006 to a sample of 86 women and semi-structured interviews conducted with 12 of these women.


Painful nipples/breasts, low milk supply and latching difficulties were the three most frequent major breastfeeding problems identified by women. Their personal characteristics as well as the moral and physical support provided by family and friends and by health professional and clinicians at the breastfeeding clinic were the factors identified most often as having a positive influence on the breastfeeding experience.


The results suggest that breastfeeding clinics have a critical role to play in improving the breastfeeding experience of women with major difficulties.