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Keywords:

  • acute maternal illness;
  • breastfeeding;
  • hospitalization;
  • staff and family education

Abstract

Breastfeeding support is a key part of caring for childbearing women. When a woman is acutely ill, hospitalized and breastfeeding, there can be a focus on initiating or maintaining breastfeeding in challenging circumstances. This article describes the development and implementation of a policy to identify, educate and support acutely ill women and their families in reaching their breastfeeding goals. A case study highlights how we supported the initiation of breastfeeding in an adult intensive care unit. Considerations for obstetric nurses when postpartum women are hospitalized on nonobstetric units are shared.