Nurse-Mothers’ Personal Infant Feeding Experiences and Their Influence on Nursing Practice
Wright, Anne I.
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Exclusive breastfeeding has become an important facet of quality care for hospitals providing maternity services. As the primary caretakers of mother-baby dyads, postpartum nurses are responsible for providing breastfeeding support during the maternity hospitalization. The aim of this phenomenological study was to explore the personal infant feeding experiences of postpartum nurses, and examine the influence those experiences have on nursing practice related to breastfeeding. The study employed Carspeken’s (1996) methodology. The findings indicated that the nurses’ personal breastfeeding experiences were very similar to those of other women. However, they received less support than other women did during the maternity hospitalization. Personal experience changed the way nurses practiced. They promoted breastfeeding in a more personal way, established deeper connections with patients, and worked to prevent women from experiencing the physical or psychological pain they experienced.