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FATHERS' PERCEPTIONS OF SUPPORTIVE BEHAVIORS FOR THE PROVISION OF BREAST MILK TO PREMATURE INFANTS

SMITH, JOAN R. RNC, MSN, NNP1; JAMERSON, PATRICIA A. RN, PHD1; BERNAIX, LAURA W. RN, PHD2; SCHMIDT, CYNTHIA A. RN, PHD2; SEITER, LORRAINE RN, MSN, IBCLC1

Section Editor(s): MAINOUS, ROSALIE O. RNC, NNP, PHD; HARRISON, LINDA LAW RN, PHD, FANN; WOOD, ASHLEY HODGES RN, MSN

doi: 10.1016/j.adnc.2006.08.005
ORIGINAL RESEARCH
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PURPOSE To explore fathers' perceptions of behaviors used to support the provision of breast milk to hospitalized premature infants.

SUBJECTS Sixteen English-speaking fathers who, each were at least 15 years of age, had a hospitalized premature infant between 24 and 32 weeks gestation and a partner who had decided to provide breast milk.

DESIGN As part of a larger, exploratory study, a qualitative descriptive study was conducted to analyze fathers' perceived contributions to the process of providing breast milk.

METHODS Fathers were interviewed with a semi-structured interview guide. All interviews were audiotaped, and verbatim transcripts were analyzed by using qualitative descriptive methods.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE Supportive behaviors as identified by fathers of hospitalized premature infants.

PRINCIPAL RESULTS Fathers described 3 types of behaviors used to support the provision of breast milk to their hospitalized premature infants: assistance with the pumping process, assumption of additional daily domestic responsibilities, and provision of moral support.

CONCLUSIONS Results from this study suggest several significant behaviors that fathers perceived they performed to support their partners' efforts to provide breast milk to their hospitalized premature infants.

1St. Louis Children's Hospital, St. Louis, Mo

2School of Nursing, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, Ill.

Address reprint requests to Joan R. Smith, RNC, MSN, NNP, St. Louis Children's Hospital, One Children's Place, NICU/5E-10, St. Louis, MO 63110. E-mail: joanrs@bjc.org

© 2006 National Association of Neonatal Nurses