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Women's Experiences of Breastfeeding-Related Pain

MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing: March/April 2019 - Volume 44 - Issue 2 - p E5–E6
doi: 10.1097/NMC.0000000000000530
CE Connection
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Women's Experiences of Breastfeeding-Related Pain


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This study was funded entirely by an unrestricted education grant provided by the Women's College Hospital Women's Xchange 15K Challenge Grant (grant ID: R5498A01). The authors and planners have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

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LPD is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

This activity is also provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP 11749 for 1.5 contact hours. LPD is also an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the District of Columbia, Georgia, and Florida, CE Broker #50-1223.


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General Purpose:

To present the details of a study conducted to gain a better understanding of the phenomenon of breastfeeding-related pain.

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Learning Objectives/Outcomes:

After completing this continuing education activity, you should be able to:

  1. Summarize findings from the authors' review of the literature.
  2. Outline the study design and findings.
  3. Identify strategies to promote breastfeeding self-efficacy.
  1. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of infants' life with continued breastfeeding with complementary feeding
    1. for one more month to allow for transition to other nutritional sources.
    2. up to nine months and then discontinuing breastfeeding.
    3. into the first year, or longer.
  2. Most often, the decision to stop breastfeeding is due to
    1. maternal choice.
    2. perceived difficulties with feeding.
    3. concerns that the infant is getting inadequate nutrients.
  3. Kronborg and colleagues reported that, despite experiencing significant pain while breastfeeding, women who decide to give up breastfeeding often feel a mixture of failure and
    1. guilt.
    2. ambivalence.
    3. resignation.
  4. According to Laanterä and colleagues, the primary barrier to supporting women through their breastfeeding challenges was
    1. an overall lack of an easily accessible social support network.
    2. inadequate knowledge and/or understanding of the challenges of breastfeeding.
    3. a social and cultural context that supports unconditional continuation of breastfeeding.
  5. The results of the authors' study indicated that a common reason for the women's decision to breastfeed was the
    1. economic benefits of not needing to purchase infant formula.
    2. childbirth education they received prior to their birthing experience.
    3. belief in the health and maternal-infant attachment benefits of breastfeeding.
  6. When the participants in the authors' study experienced breastfeeding-related pain, they often expressed feelings of
    1. self-judgment.
    2. hopelessness.
    3. intolerance.
  7. For study purposes, the participants' midwives, nurses, chiropractors, and lactation consultants were categorized as
    1. supporters.
    2. enablers.
    3. providers.
  8. Several of the participants identified that which of the following strategies could help alleviate their pain?
    1. taking prescribed analgesics
    2. using complementary therapies
    3. improving positioning and latch techniques
  9. Most women found that having breastfeeding-related pain was
    1. an inevitability.
    2. an unpleasant surprise.
    3. something they had to endure.
  10. A participant who stopped breastfeeding due to pain expressed resultant feelings of
    1. anger.
    2. remorse.
    3. inadequacy.
  11. Most women continued breastfeeding despite the pain, and then ultimately experienced feelings of
    1. relief.
    2. adequacy.
    3. exhaustion.
  12. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of breastfeeding in the United States rose from 74% in 2007 to what percentage in 2016?
    1. 79%
    2. 83%
    3. 89%
  13. The study participants were primarily
    1. single.
    2. U.S.-born.
    3. Caucasian.
  14. Several studies have associated breastfeeding cessation with mental health outcomes, including
    1. apathy.
    2. anxiety.
    3. withdrawal.
  15. A recent Cochrane review confirmed that extra support decreased breastfeeding cessation, especially when the support was
    1. face-to-face.
    2. formally scheduled.
    3. from other breastfeeding women.
  16. A metasynthesis of women's perceptions of breastfeeding support suggested that which of the following approaches to support was most effective in helping them achieve their breastfeeding goals?
    1. reactive
    2. idealistic
    3. realistic
  17. The authors' findings align with other studies suggesting that women use numerous interventions to cope with their pain, such as applying which of the following to their nipples?
    1. expressed breast milk
    2. essential oils
    3. corn starch
  18. Dennis and colleagues report that for most women, breastfeedingrelated pain reaches mild levels about how many days after childbirth?
    1. 2 to 3
    2. 4 to 6
    3. 7 to 10
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