Year of Publication

2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Nora Warshawsky

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Cecilia Page

Committee Member

Dr. Karen Stefaniak

Abstract

Background: Breastfeeding is strongly associated with health benefits for children and their mothers. Despite this knowledge, breastfeeding rates in the United States have increased only slightly. Current research examines the relationship between nurse characteristics and patient outcomes in adult intensive care and acute care settings. To date there is very limited research examining nurse variables and outcomes in women and children, and very little knowledge regarding the characteristics of the nurse in relation to patient’s breastfeeding success.

Purpose: The purpose of this practice inquiry project was to evaluate the relationship between the attributes of nurse dose and the immediacy and duration of skin-to-skin contact, as well as breastfeeding exclusivity at discharge.

Methods: A retrospective design was used to complete a patient-level analysis of electronic data. Logistic regression modeling was completed to evaluate mother and nurse variables in relation to skin-to-skin contact after delivery and breastfeeding exclusivity at discharge from the hospital.

Results: Mother’s educational level and ethnicity were statistically significant predictors of breastfeeding exclusivity at discharge. The only significant nurse variable was specialty certification. Of those mother/baby couplets cared for by nurses with specialty certifications in obstetrics or lactation, 78.1% of them exclusively breastfed until discharge. Of those couplets not cared for by a certified nurse only 58.6% were exclusively breastfeeding at discharge from the hospital.

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