Nursing, College of
breastfeeding; education; nursing; strengths; weaknesses
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The World Health Organization (W.H.O) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant’s life. A large majority of new mothers are making the decision to breastfeed their newborn child. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of 2016, high breastfeeding initiation rates show that most mothers in the U.S. want to breastfeed and are trying to do so. However, there are several indicators that suggest that mothers may not be getting the support they need and the early postpartum period is a critical time for establishing support for breastfeeding. Depending on the type of delivery and any complications that arise, the mother and newborn may remain in the hospital for as little as one day to possibly four or five days. During this time, new mothers are receiving education regarding best practices for breastfeeding their newborn, should they choose to do so. Furthermore, several evidence-based studies emphasize that those who advise and support these women need to be appropriately educated and trained, however, there is a deficit in education and training for these healthcare professionals.
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine in 2016 reported that, “New mothers, as the experts, are best placed to inform.” The purpose of this project was to assess and evaluate the current teaching standards at South County Hospital for breastfeeding education. In addition, the project aimed to evaluate the response and perspectives of new mothers regarding the provided breastfeeding education. Initially, I conducted a literature review to find supporting research for this subject matter. The project research is then concentrated on data collected through interviews/questionnaires with health professional staff and new mothers. After gathering data from both ends of the teaching process, I analyzed the current education for strengths and weaknesses and developed possible solutions. Furthermore, the conclusive findings were presented to the nursing staff so that successful teaching practices could be reinforced and improvements, when necessary, could be made.