Bottle-feeding, a neglected area of learning and support for nurses working in child health: An exploratory qualitative study.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of child health care : for professionals working with children in the hospital and community, 2021, pp. 13674935211007321
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Breastfeeding is the ideal infant feeding modality; however, the reality is some parents need or choose to use bottles to feed their infants. Parents who bottle-feed have been identified as not receiving adequate levels of bottle-feeding information and advice from health professionals. This study's aim was to explore nurses' knowledge of the components in the bottle-feeding act. Twenty-one nurses working in early parenting residential units participated in three focus groups. Three themes were identified relating to nurses' bottle-feeding knowledge: experience not evidence-based, it is hard to know what to advise, we will support whatever choice they make. The nurses identified a deficit in their knowledge, education and training related to the components of bottle-feeding. The nurses struggled with their interpretation of infant feeding policies and the provision of bottle-feeding information to parents. Nurses working in child and family health were motivated to inform, educate and enable parents to confidently make decisions concerning infant feeding. The healthcare system and the infant feeding policy drivers appear to have a mixed and at times negative impact on nurses' practice. Further research is required across a larger population of nurses.
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