Winging it: Maternal perspectives and experiences of breastfeeding newborns with complex congenital surgical anomalies

Jill Demirci, Erin Caplan, Beverly Brozanski, Debra Bogen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To describe the experience of breastfeeding (inclusive of breast milk expression/pumping, provision of breast milk via devices, and at-breastfeeding) among mothers of newborns with complex congenital surgical anomalies and the contexts under which pro-breastfeeding behaviors and attitudes are facilitated or compromised. Study design: We used qualitative description to analyze 23 interviews conducted with 15 mothers of newborns undergoing surgery for gastrointestinal, cardiac, or neural tube defects. Results: Breastfeeding experiences were characterized by naivety regarding the importance and rationale for exclusive breast milk feedings and best practices to facilitate milk supply maintenance and transition to at-breast feeds. Maternal breastfeeding views and behaviors were impacted by indeterminate prenatal plans to breastfeed/provide breast milk, limited prior breastfeeding exposure and knowledge, and gaps in postnatal lactation support. Conclusion: Future research should investigate methods to improve exclusive breast milk feeding and facilitate transitions to at-breast feeds among mothers of newborns with surgical congenital anomalies, with consideration of identified barriers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)708-717
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Volume38
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

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