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Low Rates of Breastfeeding Essay

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Updated: Dec 19th, 2020

Solution and Expected Outcomes

The failure to breastfeed a child may present a significant threat to his/her health as well as long-term development. Moreover, this problem may produce detrimental impacts on the physical wellbeing of mothers. In their turn, nurses and physicians should take measures that can address this issue or at least minimize its impacts. To achieve this goal, medical workers should focus on prenatal and postnatal education.

The evidence gathered by researchers suggests that the combination of these two strategies is vital for increasing the rate of breastfeeding (Schreck et al., 2017; Vural & Vural, 2017). The critical task is to select educational interventions that can modify health behaviors of mothers.

There are several teaching techniques that can help medical workers attain their objectives. During the prenatal stage, healthcare providers should rely on individualized breastfeeding counseling provided by nurses (Kim, Park, Oh, Kim, & Ahn, 2018).

In particular, they should stress the benefits of breastfeeding as well as the risk of not doing it. Furthermore, during these lessons, they should answer various questions that mothers may ask. Nurses should teach these lessons when pregnant mothers visit the clinic (Kim et al., 2018). Additionally, researchers argue that it is possible to incorporate information technologies in the learning activities undertaken at the prenatal stage (Pitts, Faucher, & Spencer, 2015). For instance, medical workers can compile a list of online information resources that highlight the importance of breastfeeding for the health of babies and mothers. The study of these websites can also prompt women to recognize the importance of breastfeeding.

At the same time, it is essential to focus on the educational methods adopted during the postnatal stage. Medical workers should hold group sessions for mothers who experience some problems during breastfeeding (Schreck et al., 2017). Nurses and midwives should help these women acquire the knowledge and skills needed for overcoming possible challenges. This educational intervention is beneficial because it can address the most urgent needs of patients.

Furthermore, this approach ensures that a relatively small number of medical workers can help many women. On the whole, by combining postnatal and prenatal education, nurses can enhance women’s commitment to breastfeeding and increase their confidence. These educational interventions are intended only for those mothers who do not experience any serious physiological problems that can prevent them from breastfeeding their babies. It will be the main exclusion criterion used for selecting the participants of the project.

At this point, it is possible to speak only about the anticipated outcomes of this proposal, but not its actual results. This situation can be explained by several objective difficulties that will affect the work of healthcare providers. Firstly, the implementation of this project requires at least six months. Medical workers argue that mothers have to breastfeed their children for six months following the delivery (Schreck et al., 2017).

Moreover, one will have to conduct many follow-up interviews with the participants to assess the efficiency of the interventions. Thus, this project will be rather time-consuming, and currently, there is no opportunity to complete it. Additionally, it will be necessary to recruit nurses who will teach lessons about breastfeeding. At present, the hospital struggles with the shortage of nurses, and the staff may not easily find the time needed for participating in the project.

This initiative is expected to produce two outcomes that are essential for the health of mothers and children. Firstly, medical workers should ensure that a greater number of women are willing to breastfeed their newborn children. In other words, the key task is to increase the rate of breastfeeding. Secondly, the proposed interventions are supposed to prolong the duration of breastfeeding. It should last for at least six months following the birth of a child. These steps will be critical for minimizing various risks to which mothers and babies may be exposed.

Change Theory

To some degree, the goals of this project and its implementation will be based on the premises of the health belief model (HBM). This theoretical framework is helpful in explaining the factors that influence the behavior of individuals (Glanz, Rimer, & Viswanath, 2015).

According to the principles of the HBM, the extent of people’s commitment to a certain goal depends on their opinions about the expected benefits of a specific activity, perceived obstacles, and self-esteem (Glanz et al., 2015). The key aspect of this model is that it attaches importance to patients’ beliefs and perceptions as the main variable determining the health decisions of these individuals (Glanz et al., 2015). In their turn, medical workers have to modify these perceptions to change the behavior of a person.

The educational interventions described in the previous section reflect the main principles of the HBM. Firstly, they are supposed to highlight the positive aspects of a specific behavior, namely, breastfeeding. Secondly, the recommended teaching techniques are aimed at helping women overcome the typical difficulties associated with breastfeeding. Their main purpose is to remove the perceptions that exercise an adverse influence on the decisions of a person. On the whole, these examples suggest that the HBM can support everyday activities of nurses.

The Plan for Evaluation

The assessment of this project will include several activities aimed at examining the impact of educational interventions on the behavior of women. During the first month after birth, women should be asked to fill in the questionnaire focused on their beliefs about breastfeeding. Much attention should also be given to such aspects as the level of women’s confidence in their breastfeeding skills and their willingness to engage in this behavior.

Additionally, healthcare providers should conduct interviews of the participants 12 months after providing postnatal education. By taking this step, one can determine if women breastfed their babies for the period recommended by researchers. These interviews can be conducted by phone; however, it is also possible to send the questions by email.

The evaluation of this project will be based on several quantitative indicators. Firstly, it is important to estimate how many of those women, who received prenatal education, decided to breastfeed their babies. Furthermore, one should determine the number of patients who were ready to breastfeed their babies after postnatal education. This result should be compared with the current breastfeeding rates. Furthermore, medical workers should measure the duration of breastfeeding. In particular, they should ascertain when mothers stopped breastfeeding their children. This assessment will be helpful in determining the extent to which the intervention achieved its objectives.

The Relevance of the Project to the MSN Program

This project is closely linked to the objectives that the MSN program is supposed to attain. This program is supposed to foster the creation of a caring environment in which medical workers use interventions supported by evidence. Furthermore, this initiative reflects some of the roles that nurses are expected to perform. For example, they should be able to incorporate the most recent scholarly findings in their activities (Hall & Roussel, 2017).

To a great extent, evidence-based practices identified by researchers should determine their daily work. Additionally, these professionals should become educators whose teaching activities can help patients improve treatment outcomes or reduce the threat of potential illnesses (Hall & Roussel, 2017). This project is primarily based on the scholarly findings identifying the best interventions for improving the rates of breastfeeding. Furthermore, this initiative requires nurses to become teachers who can guide the behavior of mothers.

Conclusion

This project is based on the idea that low rates of breastfeeding cannot be explained only by some unavoidable physiological causes. Instead, medical workers should give more attention to the absence of awareness about the positive impacts of this practice. Furthermore, healthcare providers should take into account such a factor as the lack of women’s confidence in their breastfeeding skills. This proposal identifies evidence-based techniques that may be useful in motivating mothers to breastfeed their children. In particular, the emphasis is placed on prenatal and postnatal education.

There are several teaching techniques that can assist medical workers in educating mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding. Among them, one can distinguish individualized and group learning sessions. Providing that this project is implemented successfully, it can bring several improvements. Firstly, it will make many women and their babies much healthier. Additionally, if this initiative produces good results, other medical workers can also adopt these techniques. In this case, medical institutions will significantly contribute to the improvement of public health in the United States.

References

Glanz, K., Rimer, B., & Viswanath, K. (Eds). (2015). Health behavior: Theory, research, and practice (5th ed.). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Hall, H., & Roussel, L. (Eds.). (2017). Evidence-based practice. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Kim, S., Park, S., Oh, J., Kim, J., & Ahn, S. (2018). Interventions promoting exclusive breastfeeding up to six months after birth: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 80, 94-105.

Pitts, A., Faucher, M., & Spencer, R. (2015). Incorporating breastfeeding education into prenatal care. Breastfeeding Medicine, 10(2), 118-123.

Schreck, P., Solem, K., Wright, T., Schulte, C., Ronnisch, K., & Szpunar, S. (2017). Both prenatal and postnatal interventions are needed to improve breastfeeding outcomes in a low-income population. Breastfeeding Medicine, 12(3), 142-148.

Vural, F., & Vural, F. (2017). The effect of prenatal and postnatal education on exclusive breastfeeding rates. Minerva Pediatrica, 69(1), 22-29.

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