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A Concept Analysis of Effective Breastfeeding


Address for correspondence: Pamela J. Mulder, RN, BSN, University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, P.O. Box 413, CUN 564, 2200 E. Kenwood Boulevard, Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413. E-mail:


Objective:  To provide a concept analysis of effective breastfeeding.

Data sources:  Medline and CINAHL electronic databases, reference lists from selected articles, and 7 breastfeeding assessment tools. Search terms included the following: breastfeeding and effective, adequate, successful.

Study selection:  Literature was selected according to whether the concept of effective breastfeeding was defined or described.

Data extraction:  Literature was reviewed and data organized as definitions or descriptions, with descriptions grouped into categories sharing similar characteristics.

Data synthesis:  Four characteristics were chosen as essential attributes of effective breastfeeding: positioning, latch, sucking, and milk transfer.

Conclusions:  The concept of effective breastfeeding requires further concept development to define and describe effective positioning, latch, sucking, and milk transfer. Future research is needed to determine the relationships between the antecedents, attributes, and consequences of effective breastfeeding. JOGNN, 35, 332-339; 2006. DOI: 10.1111/J.1552-6909.2006.00050.x