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J Hum Lact. 2013 Aug;29(3):366-73. doi: 10.1177/0890334413485640. Epub 2013 May 1.

Providing mother's own milk in the context of the NICU: a paradoxical experience.

Author information

1
Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX 77030, USA. nmhurst@texaschildrens.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Mothers of very preterm infants continue to face challenges related to providing their expressed breast milk in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

OBJECTIVE:

This qualitative study sought to understand the experience of mothers of hospitalized very preterm infants related to their daily pumping routine during the NICU stay.

METHODS:

Fourteen women who were pumping breast milk for their hospitalized infants were interviewed. Sequential, semistructured, audiotaped individual interviews were conducted at 2 different time points: within 2 weeks following delivery when the mothers were pumping only, and 4 to 6 weeks once breastfeeding had been initiated.

RESULTS:

The central themes found were: becoming a "mother-interrupted" and negotiating a paradoxical experience of separation and connection. Unique to these findings were the paradoxical view of the pump as both a wedge and a link to their infants, the intense dislike the mothers had for the tasks required to provide their expressed breast milk, and diversionary tactics used during pumping sessions.

CONCLUSION:

The complexity of thoughts, actions, and behaviors revealed in the mothers' narrative accounts provides a guide to direct future breastfeeding interventions and management.

KEYWORDS:

breastfeeding; milk expression; preterm infants; pumping

PMID:
23635469
DOI:
10.1177/0890334413485640
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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