Women’s Knowledge and Attitudes on Established Breastmilk Bank in Limpopo Province, South Africa

  •  Mahlatjie Mantji    
  •  Bopape Makoma    
  •  Mothiba Tebogo    


BACKGROUND: Breastfeeding is recommended as the best practice which results in normal growth and development of the healthy infants.  In cases where the mother is unable to provide adequate breastmilk due to unavoidable circumstances, pasteurised donated breastmilk from the bank should be considered for hospitalized or preterm babies.

OBJECTIVES: To explore and describe women’s knowledge and attitudes related to established breastmilk bank in Mankweng area.

METHODS: An explorative descriptive contextual qualitative research was conducted. Data was collected using semi-structured, one-on-one interviews at the rural hospital and a rural clinic in Limpopo province. Purposive sampling method was used to select participants of this study. Adherence to criteria for trustworthiness was aimed at ensuring that the findings become credible, transferable, confirmable and dependable. Ethical standards were adhered to in order to protect identity, dignity, rights and welfare of the study participants. Data was analysed using Tesch’s open coding method.

FINDINGS: Women at the hospital have knowledge related to breastmilk bank whilst the ones at the clinic have insufficient knowledge about breastmilk bank. The participants have shown positive attitudes towards donating breastmilk to the bank, whilst on the other hand negative attitudes towards receiving donated breastmilk from the bank were identified due to fears of contracting infections mainly HIV.

CONCLUSION: Women at the clinic, have insufficient knowledge and negative attitudes towards the established breastmilk bank. However, they were more willing to donate rather than to accept donated human milk from the bank. On the other hand, women at the hospital are knowledgeable about the breastmilk bank and they revealed positive attitudes towards the established breastmilk bank. It is recommended that the established breastmilk bank should be well promoted and well publicised to the community members in order to utilise the bank effectively and efficiently.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.