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Table 5 Focus Group Discussion themes and codes arranged by frequency counts

From: Psychosocial barriers and enablers of exclusive breastfeeding: lived experiences of mothers in low-income townships, North West Province, South Africa

Theme and codes Barrier Enabler
Mothers’ attributes: physical and mental wellbeing, experience and relationships Frequency counts*
 Mother’s body image + +
 Mother’s negative emotions (angry, unhappy) ++
Mother’s positive emotions (happy, feels good) + ++E
 Mother’s perception of breastmilk supply ++++ ++
 Mother’s experience (not first child) + +
 Mother’s first breastfeeding experience + +
 Mother’s health status or physical wellbeing +++ ++
 Mother’s choice + +
 Mother’s hunger & nutrition ++ ++
 Mother’s priorities ++ +
 Mother’s sexual relationships + +
Mother’s stress ++++B +
Mothers’ knowledge, attitudes & practices of breastfeeding
Benefits of breastfeeding +++E
 Conventional medicines for babies +++ ++
 Expressing breastmilk + +
 Foods to make or increase breastmilk + ++
 Frequency and duration of breastfeeding + +
 Information on infant feeding + +
Mixed feeding ++++B +
 Positioning and latching + +
Family environment
 Advice from elders + +
Home setting ++++B +++E
 Food at home + +
 Relationship with the father of the child + +
Social environment
Health professionals ++ ++E
 Breastfeeding seen as low social status +
 Breastfeeding in public + +
Public spaces & places (malls, taxis, other people) +++B +
 Traditional beliefs & practices + +
 Work environment + +
Baby cues
 Baby does not want to or struggles to breastfeed +
 Baby full + +
Baby’s health ++ ++E
 Baby not full ++ +
 Baby bonding & love + +
 Baby crying + +
 Baby breastfeeding frequently +
 Baby’s growth & development + +
 Baby sleeping longer or better + +
Baby stomach ailments ++B +
 Baby upset or unsettled by mother’s emotions +
  1. *Frequency counts based on ATLAS.ti - Fq counts*: 0 = −, 1–20 = +; 21–40 = ++, 41–60 = +++, > 60 = ++++
  2. B = Highest count for barrier and E = highest count for enabler