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Breastfeed Rev. 2012 Mar;20(1):25-31.

A journey filled with emotions--mothers' experiences of breastfeeding their preterm infant in a Swedish neonatal ward.

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  • 1University of Skövde, Sweden.


The study took place in a 10-bed neonatal ward in a hospital in the south of Sweden and includes mothers having given birth to a preterm infant born before the 37th week of gestation. The aim of the study was to illuminate mothers' experiences of breastfeeding a preterm infant in a neonatal ward. Data collection includes written protocols from twelve mothers. These protocols were analysed thematically. The results indicate that the mothers should be offered a private place where they can breastfeed or express breastmilk, and that the breastmilk should not be placed in a shared area. The mothers described that they did not want to be separated from their preterm infant during the night. Finally, they also pointed out the importance of support from the health professionals for establishing an exclusive breastfeeding regime.

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