Objective: To study the barriers and enablers of breast-feeding protection and support after the 2017 earthquakes in Mexico. Design: A qualitative study using a phenomenological approach to analyse data collected from in-depth interviews, virtual ethnography and documentary analysis of newspapers. Setting: Data were collected after the September 2017 earthquakes in Mexico (from 8 September 2017 to 15 May 2018). Participants: The participants included key informants (n 13) from different sectors. Postings retrieved from forty-two Facebook and forty-seven Twitter accounts and a WhatsApp group informed the virtual ethnography analysis. Newspaper material covering the 2017 earthquakes in Mexico (seven newspapers) was retrieved for the documentary analysis. Results: Interviews with key informants revealed a lack of knowledge, unclear institutional protocols during emergencies and lack of enforcement of existing international frameworks. The virtual ethnography uncovered a strong call for donations in the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes, and generalized donations of formula revealed a tense relationship between actions taken by breast-feeding experts and the negative reactions from the government and citizens. This analysis highlights the relevance of pre-existing networks of experts in protecting and supporting breast-feeding. From the newspaper documentary analysis, similar themes emerged. Conclusions: This study identified key barriers and enablers in the protection and support of breast-feeding during the 2017 earthquakes in Mexico. Relevant actors should embrace the lessons highlighted in this study because countries such as Mexico are likely to experience other emergencies in the near future.
- Infant and young child feeding