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Student Nurses' Attitudes and Beliefs About Breast-Feeding

Authors
Journal
Journal of Professional Nursing
8755-7223
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
22
Issue
5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.profnurs.2005.11.007
Disciplines
  • Education

Abstract

This study explored the breast-feeding attitudes and beliefs of students newly enrolled in an urban university baccalaureate nursing program. A qualitative approach was used to conduct in-depth semistructured interviews with 12 students prior to their formal course work in maternal–child nursing. Four themes emerged from the data analysis: 1. Personal experiences are important in the development of breast-feeding attitudes and beliefs. 2. The students generally believed that breast-feeding offered benefits for babies and mothers, but the beliefs were stronger for those who grew up with breast-feeding as the norm. 3. All the students believed that there were barriers to breast-feeding in the United States that they identified as the societal view of the breast, dependence/independence conflicts, and concerns about intimacy. 4. The students identified an educational rather than promotional role for nurses in breast-feeding because of conflicts about personal choice. This study suggests that students need help identifying their attitudes and beliefs about breast-feeding and reflecting how their personal experiences influence breast-feeding promotion.

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