‘I'm glad my bub has just weaned so I don't have to make that decision!’: Preliminary results from an online social listening study on breastfeeding and COVID-19 information


  • Becky White Curtin University
  • Sharyn Burns Curtin University
  • Jennie Carson Telethon Kids Institute
  • Jane Scott Curtin University


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has dominated global attention since early 2020 and the approval of vaccines was a welcome milestone. The exclusion of breastfeeding and pregnant women from clinical trials meant evidence-based advice for this group lagged and has at times been contradictory and confusing. Breastfeeding is an important public health issue and health professionals were concerned that this confusion could impact poorly on breastfeeding outcomes.

Aim: This study aimed to understand breastfeeding-related COVID-19 information sharing and reactions on social media during the Australian vaccine roll-out.

Methods: The CrowdTangle platform was used to source data. Posts were categorised to both intent and source, and mapped with a timeline of related events and announcements. Descriptive analysis was used to understand data distribution patterns and qualitative analysis is under way.

Results: A total of 945 posts were included for analysis. Interactions per post ranged from 0-6,500. Vaccine-related posts were the highest in number and increased over time. Non-profit organisations shared the highest number of posts (n=241), but interactions per posts were highest from personal accounts. Peaks in posts and interactions mapped to key announcements and pandemic events. Preliminary qualitative analysis shows changes in intent over time with full analysis currently underway.





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