Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Breastmilk feeding at birth demonstrates short- and long-term medical and neurodevelopmental advantages. Infants who are exclusively breastfed demonstrate less nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, and they experience less upper respiratory and ear infections than do infants who are not breastfed. One strategy that supports breastfeeding initiation is providing skin-to-skin contact (STS) with mothers and newborns immediately upon birth. The purpose of this project was to evaluate the impact of a second session of STS on the postpartum unit on exclusive breastfeeding rates at discharge. A retrospective comparison design using Swanson's caring model was used to guide the evaluation study that examined and compared the rate of exclusive breastfeeding before and after the new model of care was implemented. The historical controls rate included all delivered women in a 3-month period who expressed a desire to exclusively breastfeed and who had one session of STS. In this group, the exclusive breastfeeding rates were 46% at discharge. After the practice change, the 75 women who expressed a desire to exclusively breastfeed and who had the second session of STS demonstrated exclusive breastfeeding rates of 72% at discharge. The increased rate of exclusive breastfeeding and the promotion of newborn health represent a major contribution to positive social change through the introduction of a second session of STS. The extension of the STS practice from only the immediate postdelivery setting to the postpartum setting provides a contribution to nursing practice that can be shared in any birth or similar practice setting.