The United States Breastfeeding Committee and the American Pregnancy Association, among many other organizations, support and advocate breastfeeding. This is considered a universal way of nurturing and nourishing an infant. As a nurse, you might have a primary responsibility to teach and guide new mothers about the mechanics and benefits of breastfeeding. Prepare and implement a sound and effective nursing teaching plan to promote physiologic and psychological development for the mother and her child.
Assess and Identify
Before teaching a mother how to breastfeed, assess her understanding of the technicalities, procedures and benefits. This will enable you to prepare an appropriate teaching plan that addresses the individual patient's needs and background. For instance, assessing a mother’s usual activity pattern can help identify advantages and disadvantages in terms of her arranging time for breastfeeding. Moreover, knowing a woman's concerns or lack of information about breastfeeding will help you bridge any knowledge gaps.
Plan and Prepare
Plan ahead to teach efficiently. Design an instructional strategy that's client-centered and mapped out according to her capabilities, wants and needs. With her, set a goal that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. Thus, you and the patient -- together -- are accountable for reaching a desired outcome. For example, a goal could be that by the end of your nursing shift, the new mother can perform breastfeeding on her own, correctly using the techniques of proper alignment, latching and swallowing by her infant.
Implement and Execute
With a plan and goals set, it is your task to guide and support the mother. Breastfeeding is not always easy or smooth sailing, especially for a first-time mother. So, be by her side, providing facts, tips, assurance and feedback on her attempts. Mothers who are informed are better equipped and more comfortable with the process. Assurance and positive feedback can boost a woman's self-esteem and bolster her confidence.
Evaluate and Appraise
At the end of the learning experience, you should appraise the mother’s cognitive, behavioral and psychosocial aspects regarding breastfeeding. Assess whether she mastered breastfeeding or understood the advantages for her and her child. Evaluation shows whether the patient learned the skill or if there are still some issues that she needs or wants to address.
- American Pregnancy Association: Breastfeeding vs. Bottle feeding
- United States Breastfeeding Committee
- “Maternal and Child Health Nursing: Care of the Childbearing and Childrearing Family" 5th Edition; Adele Pillitteri; 2007