Free Essay About Critical Reading Analysis: Article One

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Study, Education, Family, Breastfeeding, Children, Obesity, Women, Information

Pages: 6

Words: 1650

Published: 2020/10/25


An article that was written by Rudzik (2012) sought to establish the Experience and Determinants of First-Time Breast-Feeding Duration among Low-Income Women from São Paulo, Brazil. The article sought to find out the factors that make first time mothers breastfeed their children exclusively on breast milk 12 weeks postpartum and factors that make first time others switch from exclusively breastfeeding their infants 12 weeks postpartum to supplementing the infant with non-breast foods. The researchers undertook the study in low-income populations to find out if the findings of the study will be consistent with findings from similar studies carried in industrialized countries on participants who were relatively form the high income group.
While the study identified the level of education, socio-economic status, unemployment, marital status and family support as factors that determined the experience and duration of exclusive first time breastfeeding mothers, the study established that unplanned or planned pregnancies was for the most significant factor that determined the experience and duration of first time breastfeeding among low-income women in São Paulo, Brazil. Specifically, the study established that women with unplanned pregnancies were four times more likely to supplement their infants with non-breast foods supplements than mothers who had planned pregnancies.


The researchers collected both quantitative data and experienced focused ethnographic data. The combinations of these two data types were for the purpose of getting an in-depth perspective on the research topic and come up with research results that are dependable. The researcher collected data through longitudinal data collection methods that allowed for in-depth interviews to be conducted among 65 women who made up the sample for the study from the end of their pregnancy through to 12 weeks postpartum. These data and methods sufficiently provided a factual / realistic portrayal of the factors that lead to exclusive breastfeeding for the first-time mothers and factors that make these mothers supplement breastfeeding and non-breast foods for their children.
The combination of quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches in the study yielded data that was complementary in providing an in-depth insight into women’s infant feeding choices postpartum. The quantitative methods made it possible for the investigators to examine the magnitude and importance of factors that determine breastfeeding choices among low-income women while the ethnographic methods exposed the low-income women’s meaning about the identified factors in order to come up with tangible factors that are found to predict breastfeeding outcomes for women 12 weeks postpartum.


The other viewpoints represented in the article are the determinants of the length of breastfeeding for mothers, which are structural factors and idiosyncratic factors that are more related to the personal choice of the mother. Other studies undertaken in different countries by different researchers have identified three major structural factors that determine the breastfeeding length for mothers. The factors are education, wealth, and employment. Idiosyncratic factors that have been identified as the main determinants of the lengths of breastfeeding by mothers are the age of the mother and interpersonal support levels from family and friends.
The other viewpoints that should have been addressed in the study is the impact of exclusive breastfeeding to the health of the infant at 12 weeks postpartum compared to the health of the infants that were not breastfeed exclusively for 12weeks postpartum but were given no-breast food supplements. The argument for the inclusion of the health viewpoint in the study is to have a sound basis for which to promote exclusive breastfeeding for mothers by showing them statistics related to health complications that arise out of discontinuing breastfeeding early.


The study results are very helpful when studying the culture of breastfeeding not only in low-income women, but also in women from other socio-economic brackets. The findings of the study contribute to our knowledge of the culture of breastfeeding since it points out to the fact that breastfeeding campaigns are not sufficient to make women lengthen breastfeeding. However, the breastfeeding campaigns can be improved if health workers are sensitized on the frustrations and pressures that people with unplanned pregnancies face so that they know the best approach to handle the situation faced by this women and hence improve breastfeeding campaigns and promotional programs, both for low income women and women that come from other social classes. This will make intervention measures that promote breastfeeding among mothers to achieve the desired outcomes.

Critical Reading Analysis: Article two

Thompson, Adair, and Bentley in 2014 undertook a study that sought to find out Whatever Average Is”: Understanding African American Mothers’ Perceptions of Infant Weight, Growth, and Health. The findings of the study indicated that African American mothers were sensitive to the weight of their infants and their size as one way that determines the health of the infants. Generally, mothers associated bigger babies with a healthy status than thin babies. The researchers established that these mothers look at bigger babies as better compared to thin children who are seen as unhealthy.
However, the results of the study indicate that mothers are not biomedically good at defining overweight or under weight. In terms of growth the researchers established that the cultural model mothers use to identify whether their children are growing is comparing their children other children in the neighborhood and using the reports they get from a physician when they go to clinics. The other finding in the study was that parents classified their children as healthy when the children were meeting their developmental milestones, eating and playing well, whether the children are underweight or overweight. The quantitative results of the study conclude that mother’s viewpoint on overweight in infants change as the infants grow in age, are sensitive to infant size of other infants in the community and are also concerned mainly with an infant's appetite and how it contributes to overweight and underweight. Qualitative results indicate that the weight status of children is assessed by mothers comparing the weight of their children with other children in the community.
The researchers collected both qualitative and quantitative data for the study. The data was collected from a sample of twenty African American mothers from some clinics in North Carolina. The researchers used semi-structured interviews that had opened ended question to probe mothers for information about the subject of the study in order to come up with qualitative data. The researchers also used longitudinally collected quantitative data for the study. The data collection methods were sufficient since they led to research findings that were consistent with other findings carried out by other researchers on the same topic. The data and data collection methods were consistent with findings of other studies by concluding that mothers were generally not good at diagnosing biomedically defined underweight and overweight with an accuracy rate that was between 56% to 65%.


The researchers used an unbiased approach to the study since they did not base most of their findings on assumptions in previous studies but came up with findings after undertaking comprehensive research. Rather than just confirming the assumptions of previous studies that presumed that low-income African Americans view larger infant size as healthier, the researchers established ambivalence on the presumed model used by other research. Additionally, the unbiased nature of the study can be proven by the researchers not only confirming that mother’s assessment of overweight was not in line with biomedical definitions, but, the researchers went ahead to highlight the dynamic nature of how mothers perceive infant size and the main concerns of infant health as the infants grow and develop.


The researchers included viewpoints from other researchers that indicated that when mothers fail to discern the biomedical perspectives of overweight, they fail in their contributions to reducing obesity in young children which is a persistent problem in the society at the present time. This makes mothers be disadvantaged in the effort to prevent weight gain and preventing overweight in infants since it is an offset of obesity in children. This miscalculation by mothers hence makes them have a distorted view of overweight in infants.


The conclusions of the study have impacts on the cultural traits of mothers that may promote obesity in children. The findings have the implication of putting in place campaigns that will make mothers shift from a cultural trait that may be promoting obesity in children to a more productive way of raising children that will have a less likelihood of being obese. The study conclusions are also vital for policy makers to design interventions that are not mainly centered on blaming the low income groups for increasing incidences of child obesity but design interventions that will encompass the relational, physical and social variables that will enhance the reduction of obesity in children. This will promote the encouragement of health education givers to educate mothers on the focus on multiple models of assessing the weight of their children relative to the health status of the children and hence promote the maternal view of child size, health and growth.

Works Cited

Rudzik E. F. Alanna. The Experience and Determinants of First-Time Breast-Feeding Duration among Low-Income Women from São Paulo, Brazil. Current Anthropology, 53( 1): (2012) 108-117
Thompson L., Amanda, Adair Linda , and Bentley E. Margaret. “Whatever Average Is”: Understanding African American Mothers’ Perceptions of Infant Weight, Growth, and Health Source: Current Anthropology, 55, (3): (2014), 348-355

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