1. Lewis, Judith A.

Article Content

Ekstrom, A., Widstrom, A.-M., & Nissen, E. (2006). Birth, 33(2), 123-130.


In the past decade, Sweden has had in-place guidelines for family classes that had as their aim the promotion of breastfeeding. Previous studies have noted a dissatisfaction among mothers, which indicated that healthcare professionals were not sufficiently supportive. The authors developed an intervention to ensure that clinicians who provided prenatal care and those who provided well-child care collaborated to develop a breastfeeding policy that was mutually implemented. This study sought to evaluate whether new mothers who received care from nurses and midwives who were specially trained in breastfeeding counseling perceived better continuity of care and emotional support than those mothers who received traditional care. Five hundred forty women who delivered singleton, healthy, full-term babies participated in the longitudinal study. The participants completed questionnaires when their babies were 3 days old and again at 3 and 9 months postpartum. The study participants rated their nursing care as more sensitive and understanding than that in the control group; additionally, they felt better informed about breastfeeding. A serendipitous finding was the increase in the social support network of the participants who attended family classes. Because of the vulnerability of new parents, supportive healthcare professionals can be powerful influences on the self-image of the new parents.


Judith A. Lewis