1. Lewis, Judith A. PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FAAN

Article Content

Gatti, L. (2008).Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 40(4), 355-363.

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The benefits of breastfeeding are clearly recognized, and the current recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization are for exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life, with continued breastfeeding until at least the age of 1 year. Less than 15% of women in the United States meet the goal of 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding. Many women cease exclusive breastfeeding because they perceive their milk supply to be insufficient. This perception is frequently not verified by measuring the actual milk supply. This article presents an integrative review of current research pertaining to perceived insufficient milk supply. The articles included in the review were original research studies conducted in the past 20 years that related to healthy full-term breastfeeding dyads. The studies reviewed were conducted in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Turkey, suggesting that the concept of perceived insufficient milk supply is a global problem that is relevant across cultures. Perceived insufficient milk supply is often reported as the most common problem women experience during breastfeeding and leads to a high rate of cessation of breastfeeding during the first month of life. It is important that nurses work with women who are in the early stages of breastfeeding to help them identify what cues are causing them to determine they have perceived insufficient milk supply. The perceptions can be discussed and objective assessment tools can be used to validate or dispel the perception. Women can be taught about infant temperament and infant feeding cues. It is important to determine whether perceived insufficient milk supply is a psychological or a physiological issue. Well-timed interventions may reduce the incidence of early cessation of breastfeeding due to perceived insufficient milk supply.