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  • 1.
    Ericson, Jenny
    et al.
    Uppsala University; Centre for Clinical Research Dalarna, Falun; Department of Paediatrics, Falu Hospital.
    Flacking, Renée
    Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Caring Science/Nursing.
    Udo, Camilla
    Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Social Work.
    Mothers' experiences of a telephone-based breastfeeding support intervention after discharge from neonatal intensive care units - a mixed-method study2017In: International Breastfeeding Journal, ISSN 1746-4358, E-ISSN 1746-4358, Vol. 12, no 1, article id 50Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: After discharge from a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), many mothers of preterm infants (gestational age<37 weeks) experience a lack of support for breastfeeding. An intervention study was designed to evaluate the effects of proactive (a daily telephone call initiated by a member of a breastfeeding support team) and/or reactive (mothers could call the breastfeeding support team) telephone based breastfeeding support for mothers after discharge from the NICU. The mothers in the intervention group had access to both proactive and reactive support; the mothers in the control group only had access to reactive support. The aim of this study was to explore the mothers' experiences of the proactive and reactive telephone support.

    Methods: This study was a qualitatively driven, mixed-method evaluation using three data sources: questionnaires with qualitative open-ended questions, visual analogue scales and telephone interviews. In total, 365 mothers contributed data for this study. The qualitative data were analysed with an inductive thematic network analysis, while the quantitative data were analysed with Student's t-test and the chi-square test.

    Results: Proactive support contributed to greater satisfaction and involvement in breastfeeding support. The mothers who received proactive support reported that they felt strengthened, supported and secure, as a result of the continuous care provided by staff who were knowledgeable and experienced (i.e., in breastfeeding and preterm infants), which resulted in the global theme 'Empowered by proactive support'. The mothers who received reactive support experienced contradictory feelings; some felt secure because they had the opportunity to call for support, whereas others found it difficult to decide when and if they should use the service, which resulted in the global theme; 'Duality of reactive support'.

    Conclusion: There were positive aspects of both proactive (i.e., greater satisfaction and feelings of empowerment) and reactive support (i.e., the opportunity to call for support); however, the provision of reactive support alone may be inadequate for those with the greatest need for support as they are the least likely to access it.

  • 2. Palmér, Lina
    et al.
    Ericson, Jenny
    Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Caring Science/Nursing. Center for Clinical Research Dalarna; Falu hospital.
    A qualitative study on the breastfeeding experience of mothers of preterm infants in the first 12 months after birth2019In: International Breastfeeding Journal, ISSN 1746-4358, E-ISSN 1746-4358, Vol. 14, article id 35Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Being a mother of a preterm infant (< 37 gestational weeks) puts the mother in a vulnerable and fragile situation wherein breastfeeding is an important part of becoming a mother and bonding with the infant. Nevertheless, the breastfeeding experience of mothers during the first year after a preterm birth has not been well studied. To develop professional caring and supporting relationships, it is important to address this knowledge gap. The aim of this study was to describe the breastfeeding experience of mothers of preterm infants from birth up until 12 months after birth.

    Methods: The data in this qualitative study are derived from a multicentre randomized controlled trial where 270 mothers of preterm infants provided 496 written comments through questionnaires containing open-ended questions. The questionnaires were sent to the mother three times during the first 12 months after birth. A thematic network analysis based on hermeneutical philosophy was used to analyse and interpret the resulting data to describe the mothers' experiences of breastfeeding.

    Results: Three organizing themes, namely, "navigating smoothly," "navigating with a struggle" and "navigating in ambiguity" were revealed in the mothers' narratives regarding their breastfeeding experiences during the first 12 months after birth. These organizing themes were further interpreted as one global theme that was deemed "A journey to finding one's unique way in breastfeeding."

    Conclusion: Mothers of preterm infants are in an exposed and vulnerable situation when initiating breastfeeding during the first year. This situation leads to a unique journey wherein each mother navigates through breastfeeding depending on her individual situation. An awareness of the diversity of breastfeeding experiences may contribute to the provision of professional caring and supportive relationships.

    Trial registration: www.clinicaltrial.gov NCT01806480 registered 7 March 2013.

  • 3.
    Thomson, Gill
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Caring Science/Nursing. University of Central Lancashire.
    Crossland, N.
    University of Central Lancashire.
    Using the behaviour change wheel to explore infant feeding peer support provision; Insights from a North West UK evaluation2019In: International Breastfeeding Journal, ISSN 1746-4358, E-ISSN 1746-4358, Vol. 14, no 1, article id 41Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Breastfeeding peer support is advocated in national and international guidelines, but the evidence base is mixed. In the UK, breastfeeding peer support was found to be ineffective in randomised controlled trials, while women report positive impacts on breastfeeding experiences in qualitative studies. A key criticism levied against breastfeeding peer support is the lack of theory underpinning intervention design. Here we use the Behaviour Change Wheel to structure the analysis of evaluation data from an infant feeding peer support service in one area in North West England. We aimed to provide theoretically informed insights into how peer support can be operationalised to influence women’s breastfeeding experiences.

    Methods: A 2 year mixed-methods evaluation (2014–2016) comprised surveys and interviews (individual or group) with peer supporters, health and community professionals, project leads and women, and routinely collected infant feeding data. We used the three layers (policies, intervention functions and behaviour-related components) of the Behaviour Change Wheel to structure and interpret the data.

    Results: Overall data comprised 23 interviews (n = 14 - individual; n = 9 - group) and 409 completed surveys. The findings are presented in three sections. First, the ‘policies’ (outer) layer of the Behaviour Change Wheel provides insights into the existing context, infrastructure and resources that underpinned peer support delivery. Then the second (intervention functions) and inner (behaviour components) layers of the Behaviour Change Wheel are used to present three themes, ‘developing capabilities for infant feeding’, ‘motivating guidance and support’ and ‘opportunities for support’. These findings highlight that a peer support service delivered in a context of effective interdisciplinary partnerships, Baby Friendly Initiative accreditation, and flexible service planning, with peer support provided via different types of instrumental, social, practical and emotional support was perceived to be highly beneficial on women’s breastfeeding experiences. In the final section key challenges faced by the service are outlined.

    Conclusion: While gaps and areas for development were highlighted, the service enhanced women’s capabilities, motivations and opportunities for breastfeeding. These theoretically informed insights into an organic and responsive peer support service help build the evidence base for breastfeeding peer support and to identify positive delivery features for future testing.

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