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Revista Colombiana de Obstetricia y Ginecología

Print version ISSN 0034-7434
On-line version ISSN 2463-0225


GARCIA-MAGDALENO, Verónica Guadalupe  and  LAUREANO-EUGENIO, Jorge. Social representations on breastfeeding among women living in urban and rural areas in Jalisco, Mexico: a qualitative study. Rev Colomb Obstet Ginecol [online]. 2019, vol.70, n.2, pp.83-93. ISSN 0034-7434.


To understand the social representations regarding breastfeeding among women in rural and urban settings in Jalisco (Mexico), between 2016 and 2017.

Materials and methods:

Qualitative phenomenological study of women living in rural and urban communities in the XIIth Health Jurisdiction, Tlaquepaque Center, Jalisco (Mexico), identified through key informants. Focus group interviews were recorded and semiotically analyzed until the technical saturation was reached in the following categories: meaning, meaning-generating players, and wishes pertaining to breastfeeding.


Six focus groups of 14 women living in rural areas, aged 29.4±7.8 years, and 9 women living in urban areas, aged 27.3 ± 7.1 years. Qualitatively, meanings were identified in the two settings and were categorized as myths, breastfeeding techniques, and infant growth and development. The following meaning-generating players were found: healthcare and hospital staff, social media networks, family, God, and community. In terms of wishes, women described the benefits of breastfeeding for themselves and their infants.


There are differences and similarities in social representations regarding breastfeeding depending on the geographic setting where they develop; the elements and players that shape those representations determine the initiation, maintenance or termination of breastfeeding, and must be considered as part of health promotion and education actions targeted to women and their environment.

Keywords : breastfeeding; cultural anthropology; qualitative analysis.

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