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Table 1 Barriers to exclusive breastfeeding encountered by Chinese mothers and relevant solutions

From: “I was determined to breastfeed, and I always found a solution”: successful experiences of exclusive breastfeeding among Chinese mothers in Ireland

DifficultiesSolutions
Maternal barriersBreast milk quantity and qualityInsufficient breast milk• Promote frequent sucking
• Maintain a balanced diet and eat plenty of soup
• Rest well and maintain a good mood
• Feed for shorter durations and more times a day
Excessive production of breast milk• Pump milk before breastfeeding
Decreased quality of breast milk as child aged• Maintain physical health
Decreased quality of breast milk during illness• Continue breastfeeding, as antibodies from the mother could be passed to the baby through breastfeeding
Breast problemsPresence of lumps during initial milk production• Massage the breast with a hot towel
Engorgement• Use a breast pump frequently
Baby teething• Communicate with baby and pat him or her gently
Cracked nipples• Use an edible ointment
• Stimulate the nipples with rough towels before giving birth
Blocked breast ducts• Continue breastfeeding
• Apply heat and cold to the breast
Breast inflammation• Massage and clean the breast
Concerns about breast shapeBreast sagging• Wear a bra that prevents sagging
Breast asymmetry• Breastfeed from both breasts
Difficulties with lactation after returning to workInability to take care of the baby• Pump milk in advance
• Put the baby in a crèche
• Adjust working hours
Decreased breast milk production• Increase workload gradually rather than having full load at the beginning
Inability to balance lactation and other daily activitiesInability to balance lactation and work• Manage time reasonably
• Seek family support
Inconsistent sleep schedule between mother and infant• Adjust the baby’s schedule
• Adapt to the baby’s schedule
• Use a breast pump
• Seek family support
Inability to balance lactation and childcare• Seek family support
Other problemsDietary and behaviour restrictions• To be determined
Consumption of medication• Suspend breastfeeding while taking medication
• Choose medication that can be taken during lactation
• Do not take medication
Maternal depression• Self-regulation and self-control
Infant barriersBreast milk jaundice• Continue breastfeeding, increase the frequency of breastfeeding
• Promote infant secretion
• Increase infant sun exposure
Severe diarrhoea• Consume a maternal diet low in fat and sugar
Inability to latch• Rub around the baby’s lips
Cultural barriers and social adjustmentLanguage barrier• Employ Chinese health care professionals
Inability to consume a Chinese postpartum diet• N/A
Odd looks or negative comments from the public• Ignore negative attitudes or behaviour
• Use a cloth to cover the breast
Lack of breastfeeding facilities in public• Pump milk before going out
• Reduce the frequency of going out, avoid going out, or choose places near home
• Choose places that have breastfeeding facilities
• Use hidden places to breastfeed (e.g., toilets, cars)