Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MScN)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Ms. Zohra Kurji

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Salma Rattani


School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Background: Inadequate breastfeeding support and low exclusive breastfeeding rates in Pakistan underpin the need for effective strategies to enhance lactation self-efficacy among mothers. Social media has emerged as a promising professional support and information dissemination avenue. However, concerns about the accuracy of online advice highlight the importance of investigating mothers' perspectives regarding utilizing social media for professional breastfeeding support.
Purpose: This study aims to investigate how mothers perceive social media for receiving professional breastfeeding support, to enhance their lactation self-efficacy.
Methodology: This exploratory-descriptive qualitative study utilized in-depth semi-structured interviews with 12 breastfeeding mothers, purposively recruited from a tertiary care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. Content analysis was done, resulting in the formation of themes and categories.
Findings: The three core themes emerged highlighting the central role of social media in knowledge acquisition, support, and interaction: In the first theme "Maternal Lactation Odyssey", the mothers shared narratives of determination and fulfillment throughout their breastfeeding experiences, but also revealed challenges and negative experiences. In the second theme, "Breastfeeding Knowledge, Support, and Interaction on Social Media", the participants turned to social media for breastfeeding knowledge, to find motivation and guidance that strengthened their self-efficacy. However, concerns surfaced about the reliability of information and privacy within these virtual spaces. In the third theme "Shaping Online Breastfeeding Support", mothers expressed their viewpoints and suggestions for the establishment of online professional lactation networks, the inclusion, and management of content they would like to receive, and the creation of digital platforms for fathers within these online communities.
Conclusion: The research identified a need, for organized and evidence-based online assistance for breastfeeding. The proposed suggestions include establishing and maintaining lactation groups online, providing guidance ensuring accurate and well-structured breastfeeding information within digital communities, and extending support to involve fathers as well. These findings emphasize the possibility of incorporating online lactation support into both antenatal and postnatal care, ensuring accurate guidance on breastfeeding, thereby improving the health outcomes of mothers and children, in the long run.

Included in

Nursing Commons