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Breastfeeding Support for Young Mothers From a Maternity Shelter: A Qualitative Study

by Rosann Edwards, RN, MScN, IBCLC, PhD
  • Duration: 30 Mins
  • Credits: 0.5 CERP, 0.5 L-CERP
  • Learning Format: webinar
  • Handout: Yes
  • Origin:

To explore the breastfeeding experiences of young at-risk breastfeeding mothers who either were or had resided in a local maternity shelter. Goals: To increase awareness of issues unique to this population, and develop clinical interventions when providing breastfeeding supports. Data Collection and Analysis: Interpretive description design, using semi-structured interviews, and inductive content analysis. Participants: Nine mothers aged 17 to 24, who had initiated any breastfeeding, and were residing or had resided at a maternity shelter. Findings: Nurses had a critical role in the establishment of early breastfeeding by providing a combination of practical hands-on and emotional support. Ongoing, accessible, and non-judgemental peer, family, and community resources were important to breastfeeding duration. These young mothers took ownership of their choice to breastfeed and found empowerment in this choice and practice. Conclusion: Young at-risk mothers need an ongoing combination of emotional and practical supports from multiple trusted sources, including professional and peer. Nurses need to focus the practical aspects of breastfeeding while establishing strong therapeutic relationships.

Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: To inform nursing practice to the importance of taking a strength based-approach with at-risk mothers
Objective 2: To increase awareness of issues that are unique to adolescent mothers and infants involved in the shelter system
Objective 3: To inform the development of clinical interventions and breastfeeding related services unique to this population of breastfeeding mothers

Categories: Breastfeeding Support,