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More Support in a Coffee Shop Than in the Hospital: Experiences of Breastfeeding Children With Medical Complexity

by Lyndsey Hookway, BSc, RNC, HV, IBCLC
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 L-CERP, 1 Nurse Contact Hours, 0.1 Midwifery CEU, 1 Dietetic CEU
  • Handout: Yes

Breastfeeding may be natural, but it isn’t easy. Initiating and maintaining breastfeeding, and overcoming barriers can be hard for anyone, but breastfeeding a child with illness or medical complexity in the paediatric setting is uniquely challenging and presents different obstacles than those commonly experienced by parents feeding healthy term newborns or preterm neonates.

Current policies, BFHI standards, and training are weighted towards the initiation of breastfeeding or the establishment of effective pumping for a preterm infant. The needs and challenges of children beyond the neonatal period are largely unresearched. My systematic review in 2021 found seven key themes that provided some explanation as to why breastfeeding a child with medical complexity in paediatrics is different and more challenging to achieve.

My qualitative study in 2022 has provided novel insight and new data into the specific challenges encountered by parents of children with acute, chronic, complex and life-threatening illness in the paediatric ward or paediatric intensive care unit and provides tentative explanations and suggestions for how to approach this unique population to optimise their feeding experience.

In this presentation, learners will understand how to view the paediatric population as distinct from the maternity and neonatal population and appreciate some of the unique difficulties that these families face. Learners will also develop understanding of the need to merge clinical and lactation skills in a collaborative approach to care. Finally, new insights and awareness of the importance of expanding current training to meet the needs of this population will be shared.

Learning Objectives:

1.Explain 2 ways the paediatric population is distinct from maternity and neonatal clients in terms of management, structures and policy.
2.List 5 unique clinical lactation challenges experienced by children in the paediatric setting.
3.Describe 2 impacts of continuing to breastfeed or provide breastmilk for lactating parents.
4.Explain why targeted and specific paediatric breastfeeding training is appropriate in order to achieve the best outcomes.

Lectures by Profession, Product Focus
Presentations: 28  |  Hours / CE Credits: 29.5  |  Viewing Time: 8 Weeks
Presentations: 1  |  Hours / CE Credits: 1  |  Viewing Time: 2 Weeks