203212 Breastfeeding Beliefs Among WIC Mothers and Their Nurses

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 12:45 PM

Elizabeth Reifsnider, PhD, APRN, BC , School of Nursing, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX
Nancy Higgs, RN, BSN , School of Nursing, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX
Flora Aguirre, MSN, WHNP , School of Nursing, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to understand what beliefs about breastfeeding are held by women who receive vouchers from the WIC program in a semi-rural county in Texas along with the inpatient nurses who provide care for them during their perinatal hospitalization.

Background: Women who receive WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) services are less likely to breastfeed than women who do not in the county where the research occurred. Postpartum care has been shown to have an effect on breastfeeding initiation rates.

Methods: Women were interviewed in WIC clinics. Nurses were interviewed through focus groups on site at the hospital. Informed consent was obtained from all before any information was collected. All 3 team members read the verbatim transcripts and met to decide on initial coding and then individually coded all the transcripts.

Results: Women who received WIC services thought breastfeeding was the best way to feed their babies, but that it was difficult, painful, inconvenient, caused immodesty, and was not something supported by their families. They perceived bottle-feeding as nearly as beneficial as breastfeeding. Nurses perceived breastfeeding as best as well, but found it difficult to spend the time teaching how to breastfeed. They also thought it was inconvenient due to shared rooms with little privacy for their patients.

Implications: Time for providing breastfeeding support and instruction, along with privacy provision, is an important component of the practice of labor, delivery, postpartum, and nursery nurses.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the barriers to breastfeeding education faced by postpartum nureses. 2. Identify the most common reasons postpartum mothers choose to breastfeed or not breastfeed their infants.

Keywords: Breastfeeding, Nurses

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the PI of the research that is reported here.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.