Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
There is no policy on breastfeeding support of the active duty military servicewoman at the targeted military treatment facility, and no global policy serving active duty personnel applicable at the Department of Defense and Defense Health Agency (DoD/DHA) level to span across branches of the U.S. military. Nurses, as members of the most trusted profession, are often expected to know how to assist a mother in meeting her feeding goals. Creation of an evidence-based practice guideline (EBPG) for support of the active duty servicewoman in the military health system was the purpose of this project. The project was conceptualized within the framework of Pender’s health promotion model and supported by Rogers’s theory on the diffusion of innovations. Sources of evidence included consensus statements by professional organizations, peer-reviewed literature applicable to lactation support in general and within the military health system, and feedback from expert panelists in the fields of lactation and education with experience in the military health system. The need for the EBPG was supported through review of the literature and expert feedback. Simple descriptive statistics and analysis of qualitative feedback were reviewed supporting the applicability of the EBPG. The guideline should better prepare health care providers, including nurses on the front lines of care, to support active duty servicewomen in their feeding goals. Adoption of the EBPG by the DoD/DHA would allow the organization to lead the charge in positive social change by providing a policy that treats all branches of the U.S. military equally and incentivizes family health and retention of valuable federal employees who lay their lives on the line in defense of the nation.