Research Associate, Rush University.
Healthcare providers' perceptions of breastfeeding peer counselors in the neonatal intensive care unit†
Article first published online: 2 JUL 2012
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Research in Nursing & Health
Volume 35, Issue 5, pages 460–474, October 2012
How to Cite
Rossman, B., Engstrom, J. L. and Meier, P. P. (2012), Healthcare providers' perceptions of breastfeeding peer counselors in the neonatal intensive care unit. Res. Nurs. Health, 35: 460–474. doi: 10.1002/nur.21496
This research was supported in part by a grant from the National Institute of Health, Grant NR010009. Special acknowledgement is due to Rebekah Hamilton for assistance in the presentation of the findings from the diffusion of innovations theory.
- Issue published online: 13 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 2 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 31 MAY 2012
- breastfeeding peer counselors;
- neonatal intensive care unit;
- diffusion of innovations;
- framework analysis
In this qualitative descriptive study we examined the perceptions of 17 neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) healthcare providers (nurses, neonatologists, lactation consultants, and dietitians) about the role of breastfeeding peer counselors who were mothers of former NICU infants and who provided primary lactation care in the NICU. Findings revealed that the healthcare providers respected the peer counselors' lactation expertise and identified three critical elements that contributed to the effectiveness of the peer counseling program: having a champion for the program, counselors being mothers of former NICU infants, and a NICU culture supportive of using human milk. Healthcare providers thought the peer counselors enhanced care of the infant by empowering mothers to provide milk and by facilitating and modeling positive patterns of maternal–infant interactions. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 35:460–474, 2012