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“Nipple shield” A link or a barrier? – Experiences of staff and parents of preterm infants in neonatal units (NICUs)
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: Infants born before 37 gestational weeks are defined as being prematurely born.

Breast milk is considered to be the best nutrition for preterm infants. However, they have an

immature sucking behavior and the capacity for breastfeeding at the breast will likely be

affected. The nipple shield has been used, and still is in some contexts, as a device to help the

immature infant to attach to the breast. Among researchers and health professionals there are

divergent opinions on the benefits and the negative aspects of using nipple shields.

Objective: To explore perceptions and experiences of using a nipple shield among parents

and staff in neonatal units in Sweden and England.

Design: A qualitative study with an ethnographic approach. Observations and interviews were

conducted in four neonatal units in Sweden and England. The data were analyzed using a

thematic analysis and the result was presented in thematic networks.

Result: Two global themes were identified. One theme with parents’ experiences “A tool?”

was identified which include organizing themes; “Technical issues”, “Support from staff” and

“Feeling of something in between”. Technical issues including both how it facilitates and

technical problems when using it. Parents felt confused when they got different advice and

mothers experienced an unnatural feeling when using the nipple shield. Experiences from

staff was summarized in the second global theme; “Contentious tool” with the organizing

themes; “Positive aspects” and “Negative aspects”. The nipple shield can be used as “a

shortcut” to breastfeeding and some used it too easily and others not at all.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates parents’ and staffs’ perceptions of nipple shield both as

a link to help initiating breastfeeding and as a barrier between the mother and infant.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
Keyword [en]
Keywords: Nipple shield, ethnography, neonatal care, parents, thematic analysis
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-16843OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-16843DiVA: diva2:787611
Available from: 2015-02-11 Created: 2015-02-11

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf