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Table 3 Case study of a woman who exclusively breastfed because it was a family endorsed practice; she had family support; as well as the financial resources to cope with the anxiety of milk inadequacy

From: “Everybody breastfeeds if they have milk”: factors that shape exclusive breastfeeding practices in informal settlements of Mumbai, India

The woman lived in a nuclear family, close to her mother’s house. She had three children. She had been told by her mother to give only breastmilk to the child. She had also seen other family members breastfeed their children.
“Be it my brother’s wife or my brother-in-law’s wife, they have given only breastmilk to their babies. In our family, it’s like this only”
The woman felt that it was necessary to have good quality breastmilk in order to feed the infant. She took care of her diet specifically by eating lentils, milk powder and green vegetables.
She was anxious about her milk waning as the infant grew. She bought a tin of formula, but the infant did not eat it. So, she desperately resorted to eating supplements (herbal medicines) to increase her milk production:
I didn’t even have milk but what to do, he used to cry, but still somehow, I breastfed him for 6 months. I had medicines, so that milk production would happen.”
The woman felt great pride in her ability to breastfeed her child exclusively. Her mother had told her that in this generation, this was rare. She wanted to breastfeed her child for as long as she could:
“When I went to the hospital, I saw people coming with their two months old with a bottle. I used to look at them and think that I should try and feed my child my milk as long as I can.”
The woman claimed that it was her mother’s support in doing household chores that enabled her to practice EBF. Her mother helped by washing clothes, cooking food and taking the other children to school. So, the woman herself could concentrate on the infant’s needs and feed him (and herself) well.