Increasing Exclusive Breastfeeding Rates Through the Implementation of Nursing Education and a Checklist
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Type of Work43 pages
ProgramDoctor of Nursing Practice
Exclusively breastfeeding a newborn by providing no other form of nutrition other than breastmilk has been shown to provide a substantial number of benefits to both mom and baby. In the hospital setting, exclusively breastfeeding mothers are assisted by nurses to continue breastfeeding properly and feed their babies adequately. When using the theory of planned behavior, it is identified that patients may ask for formula when their attitude towards breastfeeding is not representative of the importance of exclusively breastfeeding when possible. Research shows that more education improves a nurse’s knowledge and confidence in assisting patients and prevents unnecessary formula supplementation. The purpose of this project was to provide additional breastfeeding education to nurses and implement a breastfeeding checklist in order to help them better assist patients with breastfeeding and ensure every step has been taken to assist the patient. In doing so, the project aimed to increase exclusive breastfeeding rates upon discharge. Before implementation, the exclusive breastfeeding rate upon discharge was 63%, and three months of data following implementation showed rates of 67%, 69%, and 54%. While a marginal initial increase was seen, the exclusive breastfeeding rates did not continue to remain elevated. Many factors influenced exclusive breastfeeding rates, and the checklists were not completed for all patients as intended. Further study is necessary to understand the effect of a breastfeeding checklist, but initial increases in breastfeeding rates indicate that education and awareness for nurses to assist patient with breastfeeding can provide an increase in exclusive breastfeeding rates.