BACKGROUND: Lactation and breastfeeding present an extraordinary challenge for mothers of prematurely born infants.
PURPOSE: To explore the significance of and the circumstances that affect lactation for mothers of premature infants.
METHODS: A qualitative exploratory study based on single, in-depth, semistructured interviews with 16 purposefully sampled mothers of premature infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Data were analyzed using content analysis. The study was reported according to Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research.
FINDINGS: The overall theme was "From expressing human milk to breastfeeding-an essential element in the journey to motherhood." The theme emerged from 3 categories: the birth preparation time has been interrupted; expressing human milk is essential for lactation; and the motherhood journey encompasses breastfeeding. The analysis also revealed that the categories were impacted by initiating, performing, and maintaining lactation and further influenced by inhibitors and promoters.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: The promoters for performing milk expression and breastfeeding should be stimulated and the inhibitors should be eliminated. The achievement of "zero separation" and mother-infant couplet care in the NICU would be beneficial. In order for mothers to maintain successful lactation, it is essential that they receive supportive around-the-clock access to health professionals with expertise in lactation and breastfeeding until exclusive breastfeeding is well established.
IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH: The study highlights the need to investigate mother-infant as one entity rather than separately as mother and infant.
|Tidsskrift||Advances in neonatal care : official journal of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses|
|Status||Udgivet - 1 dec. 2022|