Nurse’s attitude or lack of knowledge toward Breastfeeding can be easily observed in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Nurse’s attitude and knowledge deficit about breastfeeding can impact not only the mothers but also premature infant, creating a barrier for the mother and her premature infant. Therefore, nurses play a vital role in supporting breastfeeding mothers.
Mothers with infants in the NICU run into many barriers to successful lactation than mothers of a term healthy infant (Rossman, Engstrom, & Meier, 2012). These barriers consist of nurse’s attitudes, their lack of knowledge of lactation and benefits of breastfeeding, and limited resources are just a few barriers that mothers with premature or sick babies encounter in…show more content… Mothers often feel that their babies belong to the NICU nurse because they are separated and not involved in the baby care; therefore, creating disconnect between mother and baby (Boucher, Frazal, Graham-Certosini, Carnaghan-Sherrard, & Feeley, 2011). Moreover, breastfeeding is the one way a mother can full fill her role as a mother and bond with her baby. Mothers own milk is known to be healthier for babies. In this vulnerable population, breastmilk is encourage because of the benefits it offers. However, expressed breast milk is given to preterm infants to lower the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), enhance enteral feeding, improve gastric emptying, which decreases the usage of gastroesophageal reflux medication, and decrease the risk of sepsis and death (Carroll & Herrmann, 2012). Therefore, it is imperative to address any barrier that affect the mother’s ability to provide breastmilk as well as breastfeed when it is…show more content… The attitude of the nursing staff can greatly impact the mother’s decision to breastfeed. Educating nurses on breastfeeding and the benefits of breastfeeding can increase the nurse’s confidence to promote breastfeeding in the NICU (Taylor, Gribble, Sheeham, Schmied, & Dykes, 2011). Also, by implementing the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, that support breastfeeding is another way in which could help educate and change the attitude of nursing staff in the NICU. The more knowledge that is acquired about breastfeeding, the better equipped the nurse will be when assisting or giving mothers' lactation