Date of Paper/Work

6-2012

Type of Paper/Work

Scholarly project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing

Department

Nursing

Advisor(s)

Roberta Hunt

Abstract

Breastfeeding is the single most powerful and well documented preventive intervention to reduce the risk of common causes of infant morbidity. In response to the positive outcomes of breastfeeding for both mothers and infants, the American Academy of Pediatrics has declared that it is no longer a lifestyle choice, but a critical public health decision. A common method to promote breastfeeding is through support services provided by hospitals after discharge. Some hospitals have adopted the Baby-Friendly program, which is a part of a national coalition to promote higher breastfeeding rates across the country. Despite the coalition, a large percentage of post partum mothers remain misinformed regarding the importance of continuing breastfeeding after discharge from the hospital. Barriers such as fatigue, isolation, and fearing judgment from their health care provider inhibit some new mothers from seeking professional help. Blogging is an innovative method to promote education to breastfeeding mothers after discharge. Blogs, as an individually maintained webpage or online journal, provide health care organizations with a platform to promote education via the internet. Recommendations for health care organizations seeking to provide breastfeeding support within the community after discharge from the hospital are as follows: (a) incorporate an industry-affiliated blog as a form of patient education and support; (b) develop a policy in which to maintain the blog; (c) provide blog topics that will address barriers known to interrupt women in maintaining lactation beyond discharge; and (d) utilize the comments section by encouraging open-dialogue between the blog author and reader.

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