Perceived Barriers to Promoting Breastfeeding Efforts and Support among Nurse Practitioners and Registered Nurses Practicing in Rural Hospital in New York
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Ineffective breastfeeding promotion and support for women choosing to breastfeed among healthcare providers (HCPs) has contributed to declining breastfeeding rates in the United States, especially in rural areas. The purpose of this Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project was to explore perceived barriers to promoting breastfeeding efforts and support among registered nurses (RNs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) working in a rural hospital located in Oneida, New York. Project aims were to improve care and communication between registered nurses (RNs) and Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and the breastfeeding women they care for regarding the importance and benefits of breastfeeding and to promote breastfeeding efforts and support through the development of an evidence-based educational outline for RNs and NPs caring for women who are breastfeeding. A qualitative descriptive approach was utilized with individual semi-structured interviewing. Pender’s Health Promotion Model guided the development of the semi-structed interview questionnaire. Institutional Review Board approval was obtained. Braun and Clarke’s Thematic Analysis method was used to analyze data. The analysis of data generated one overarching theme, Not Enough Help…Everybody Should be Educated, and three key themes, Breastfeeding benefits for Mom and Baby, Breastfeeding Barriers, and Breastfeeding Resources. To help overcome breastfeeding barriers, all participants agreed that more breastfeeding education is needed for RNs, NPs, and providers, that more lactation consultants should be made readily available, and that better promotion and awareness of breastfeeding support resources is needed. Future research is needed exploring breastfeeding barriers among diverse populations of breastfeeding women to better support breastfeeding efforts and success.