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Publisher Description

When a postpartum mother cannot breastfeed her child due to the infant's illness and subsequent admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), this mother may feel psychological and physical distance from her child, as well as a loss of empowerment to influence the child's growth and well-being (de Azevedo & Mendes, 2008). In the absence of a lactation consultant, this mother is dependent on her postpartum nurse to be an advocate, facilitator, and teacher of an alternative method to support infant nutrition. Lessen and Crivelli-Kovach (2007) discussed the obstacles that women may face, including "insufficient support and education as well as unsupportive hospital practices," and how improving upon these factors could ultimately increase the incidence of breastfeeding. Wigert (2006) described feelings of "disruption and exclusion" reported by new mothers when they could not be involved with their infants. There is much research focused on the interaction between NICU nurses and new mothers related to infant nutrition (Lessen & Crivelli-Kovach, 2007; Panagl, Kohlhauser, & Pollak, 2001; Spicer, 2005; Ward, 1999). During the early postpartum period, however, the new mother may be physically unable to travel to the NICU, and/or the infant may not be physiologically stable enough for stimulation provided by parental contact, so teaching in the NICU may be contraindicated. The postpartum nurse is in an ideal position to initiate a conversation about the importance of early initiation of breast pumping, given the nurse's role as caretaker and advocate for the mother. An essential part of this conversation is the assessment of psychological readiness for learning (Lawson & Flocke, 2009; Moriconi & Stabler-Haas, 2010).

Body, Mind & Spirit
22 September
New York State Nurses Association
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.

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