Abstract

 objective: Inquire about the meaning of breastfeeding and breast milk per a group of mothers with small children. Method: A qualitative study was done with a participant group of mothers from two communities, one rural and one urban, in Costa Rica. Results: The mothers’ associate breastfeeding with the natural act of feeding their children, and identify breast milk as the food that provides the necessary nutrients for the growth and development of their children. Breastfeeding continues to be a successful practice which contributes to the health of childhood. Furthermore, it was identified that the family environment is constituted in the space where they receive the most support to successfully carry out the process of breastfeeding. Conclusion: Understand the meaning that women give to the experience of breastfeeding. Moreover, this allows guiding the interventions executed by different instances to promote the practice of breastfeeding from the point of view of mothers, with the purpose of guaranteeing the optimal nutrition for the children in the first years of their life. This study shows the necessity to continue strengthening the health education programs directed at health professionals and the general public with the purpose of promoting the practice of breastfeeding, as it’s the most economical and safest way to protect the health of children in their first years of life.

Keywords: breastfeeding, lactation, mothers, Costa Rica,