This study addressed this gap in knowledge by exploring Australian, Irish and Swedish women’s perceptions and highlight how the context of support can differ between countries. Comparisons of ‘ever breastfed rates’ are promising for selected developed countries such as Sweden (98 %) and Australia (96 %), although for others rates are not as favourable (Ireland 46 %) .

During the Age of Liberty (1718–1772), Sweden had conditional women’s suffrage. Until the reform of 1865, the local elections consisted of mayoral elections in the cities, and elections of parish vicars in the countryside parishes. The Sockenstämma was the local parish council who handled local affairs, in which the parish vicar presided and the local peasantry assembled and voted, an informally regulated process in which women were reported to have participated already in the 17th century. The national elections consisted of the election of the representations to the Riksdag of the Estates. We found that mothers in this study cited felt that breastfeeding facilitated bonding and enabled them to feel closeness with their infant.

She was given the right to contest her guardian in court and have another appointed by the court, and when adult, she had the right to make a will. Finally, an unmarried woman could be liberated from guardianship by a petition to the monarch. Upon the day of her marriage, she was placed under the coverture of her husband. When widowed , a woman regardless of age reached legal majority. The category of breastfeeding being noted as the cultural norm was similarly ranked eighth by all international women which is interesting given Australia and Sweden have high initiation rates and comparable prevalence up to 6 months.

Years of Women’s Suffrage in Sweden

Critics say the Social Democrats’ push for a feminist foreign policy amounts to little more than branding. Margot Wallström, the newly minted foreign minister, has said that under her leadership Sweden will become the only country in the world to conduct a “feminist foreign policy.” That’s a perspective that flows from U.N.

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The responses Australian, Irish and Swedish women provided in their interviews were entered into separate SPSS databases and recoded to match the final categories agreed upon by the international research teams. Descriptive statistics were then calculated according to those ranked as first, second or third in assisting the woman to breastfeed for at least six months. De-identified transcript documents and demographic data will be securely stored on university password protected computers for seven to ten years depending upon country requirements. Our aim was to explore Australian, Irish and Swedish women’s perceptions of what assisted them to continue breastfeeding for six months. An exploratory design using critical incident techniques was used. Recruitment occurred through advertisements in local newspapers and on social networking platforms.

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There were awkward stares from people who couldn’t figure out who I was outside of their neatly confined boxes. I had to get used to the sharp inhale of air that replaces the word “yes” in Swedish (that’s only in the north, btw). I learned that a beloved chocolate dessert in the country was originally known as “negerbollar” before being changed to the more politically correct name “chokladbollar” (I still don’t like them to this day).

In 2018, Sweden passed a law defining sex without consent in clear body language or words as rape, even if no force or threats are used; previously a rape conviction had required proof that the offender used force or that the victim was in a vulnerable state. In 2018, female personnel made up 15% of the soldiers in training and less than 7% of the professional military officers.

In fact, attention to potential modifiable factors such as influencing breastfeeding intention, increasing self-efficacy and the provision of effective interventions around social support has been recommended for interventional studies . Nonetheless, to be effective, support should ideally be tailored to the needs of the setting and population . Strategies to support breastfeeding effective for one population in one setting may not be relevant or useful in other contexts. Although, countries may demonstrate promising initiation rates explanations for differing prevalence trends are not always apparent. Evidence from a systematic review confirmed the health benefits of breast milk, further supporting optimal duration for exclusive breastfeeding continuing to six months . However, 37 % of infants less than six months are being exclusively breastfed in low and middle-income countries with even shorter duration in high-income countries . But no one quite seems to know how to square that perspective with notions of a feminist foreign policy.

The ten categories identified as assisting Australian, Irish and Swedish women to continue breastfeeding for six months, incorporate the individual , inner social , outer social , and societal support . These categories fit within an ecological model highlighting factors that influence breastfeeding such as the mother/infant dyad, the family, the health care system, the community and societal/cultural factors . Our findings align with the ecological model which highlights how multiple coordinated efforts through targeted interventions must incorporate all factors within an ecological model to effectively promote and support breastfeeding. Limitations must be considered when interpreting our findings as our Australian, Irish and Swedish women are not representative of all breastfeeding women in these countries. Women self-selected to participate in response to our recruitment strategies and represent a cohort of highly educated women who have continued to breastfed a recent child beyond six months.

However, Irish women where initiation rates are lower also ranked cultural norm as eighth out of the ten categories. This highlights that acknowledging breastfeeding as a cultural norm was important for these international women who all breastfed to at least six months and whose personal and social environment reinforced the normality of breastfeeding. Individual’s everyday network may include important role models because they reinforce that individuals “just like you” can be successful and are essential for increased self-efficacy . In fact, further research has been recommended across pre-conception and throughout the perinatal period to better support women choosing to breastfeed and cultivate breastfeeding as a cultural norm . All women in this international study cited how their knowledge of breastfeeding health benefits assisted in their efforts and reinforce the importance of knowledge dissemination through parent education and individual health professional consultations. Evidence must inform best practice in parent education, whether group or individual consultation . Diligence must continue where knowledge can be shared with parents but also to address areas where knowledge may be lacking.

Funding support was received from a School Development Grant from the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, Curtin University. We would like to acknowledge the Australian, Irish and Swedish women who graciously shared perceptions of their breastfeeding experiences. Women, who breastfed a recent child for a minimum of six months, were invited to participate. Women could still be breastfeeding or have ceased within the past 12 months. To avoid recall bias, women currently breastfeeding or those who breastfed within the past 12 months were included as a period of three years or less has been recommended when focusing upon recall of infant feeding practices . In the interim, Wallström will remain at the Foreign Ministry, with her feminist vision for Sweden’s ventures abroad intact. By empowering women, the argument goes, there are better chances of snuffing out wars before they start and of ending them in more equitable ways.

Grouping with RAPD and identification of representative isolates with TTGE and multiplex PCR were found to be a convenient way to identify the normal Lactobacillus flora of the vagina. Both TTGE and multiplex PCR are simpler to perform than 16S rDNA sequencing or ribotyping . The similarity in TTGE patterns within different isolates of the same RAPD type was usually high. Crispatus isolates A, B, G, H, N, Q, S, and V, which showed heterogeneity, and for L. Gasseri isolates, which had one general TTGE pattern but showed a slight deviation in the position of the bands (Fig. ​ (Fig.1 1 and Table ​ Table1 1). BThe isolates were grouped first by PCR-G and then identified to the species level by PCR II-1 and PCR II-2 .

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