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Sustained Breastfeeding and Related Factors for Late Preterm and Early Term Infants

Kuhnly, Joan Esper DNP, NNP-BC, APRN, IBCLC, CNE

The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing: April/June 2018 - Volume 32 - Issue 2 - p 175–188
doi: 10.1097/JPN.0000000000000331
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The purpose of this pilot study was to determine the prevalence of sustained breastfeeding in late preterm and early term breastfeeding infants at 1 and 2 months of age and to identify the factors that were related to sustained breastfeeding. Subjects were identified through purposive sampling and completed the Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale and data were collected on lactation support, hospital course details, and demographic factors. At 1 and 2 months of age, structured telephone interviews determined the current feeding status and postdischarge lactation support. Of 126 mothers, 82% sustained breastfeeding at 1 month and 71.2% at 2 months. Factors associated with sustained breastfeeding at 2 months included a college education (P = .014), higher day 1 breastfeeding scores (P = .007), higher Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy scores (P = .046), and continued maternal skin-to-skin contact (P = .007). High after day 1 breastfeeding scores were associated with sustained breastfeeding at 1 month (P = .000) and 2 months (P = .001). Unsustained breastfeeding at 1 and 2 months was associated with the occurrence of supplemental feedings (P = .001) and pumping at discharge (1 month, P = .002; 2 months, P = .015). Identifying the factors associated with the high-sustained breastfeeding rate in this population helps nurses focus on how to best support their breastfeeding experience.

Department of Nursing, Westfield State University, Westfield, Massachusetts.

Corresponding Author: Joan Esper Kuhnly, DNP, NNP-BC, APRN, IBCLC, CNE, Department of Nursing, Westfield State University, 577 Western Ave, Westfield, MA 01086 (jkuhnly@westfield.ma.edu).

This study was possible only due to patience and support of family, friends, colleagues, and the guidance of the academic and clinical team: Drs Sandra Bellini, Margaret McLaren, Michelle Judge, Donna Dowling, Donna Chapman, Stephen Walsh, and Mary Marshall Crim. The authors are thankful for the mothers who willingly participated in this study and the nurses and lactation consultants from the Women's Health Department at Hartford Hospital who supported the families.

This study was partially funded by Sigma Theta Tau, Mu Chapter, Hartford Hospital, and the University of CT School of Nursing.

Disclosure: The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Submitted for publication: April 17, 2017; accepted for publication: January 4, 2018.

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