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Open Access Research article

Relationship between participation in leisure activities and constraints on Taiwanese breastfeeding mothers during leisure activities

Hsueh-wen Chow* and Yin-Han Dong

Author affiliations

Graduate Institute of Physical Education, Health & Leisure Studies, National Cheng Kung University, No1, University Road, Tainan, 701, Taiwan

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Citation and License

BMC Public Health 2013, 13:410  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-410

Published: 30 April 2013

Abstract

Background

Participation in leisure activities strongly associates with health and well-being. Little research has explored the relationship between participation in leisure activities and constraints on breastfeeding mothers during leisure activities. The purposes of this study are: 1) to investigate constraints on breastfeeding mothers during leisure activities and participation in leisure activities; 2) to investigate the differences between preferences for leisure activities and actual participation by breastfeeding mothers; 3) to segment breastfeeding mothers with similar patterns, using a cluster analysis based on the delineated participation in leisure activities and leisure preferences; 4) to explore any differences between clusters of breastfeeding mothers with respect to socio-demographic characteristics, breastfeeding behaviours and leisure constraints.

Methods

This study has a cross-sectional design using an online survey conducted among mothers having breastfeeding experiences of more than four months. The questionnaire includes demographic variables, breastfeeding behaviours, preferences for leisure activities participation, and constraints on leisure activities. Collection of data occurred between March and July 2011, producing 415 valid responses for analysis.

Results

For breastfeeding mothers, this study identifies constraints on breastfeeding related to leisure activities in addition to the three traditional factors for constraints in the model. This study demonstrates that reports of constraints related to children, family, and nursing environments are the most frequent. Breastfeeding mothers in Taiwan participate regularly in family activities or activities related to their children. Cluster analysis classified breastfeeding mothers into Action and Contemplation groups, and found that mothers within the latter group participate less in leisure activities and experienced more constraints related to breastfeeding.

Conclusions

Implications provide a developmental design for public health policies for nursing-friendly environments to increase opportunities for breastfeeding mothers to engage in leisure activities and suggest various types of activities to increase participation of that population.