Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Document Type

Major Paper


Zvart Onanian School of Nursing



Date of Original Version



This project aims to address the clinical question of how the type of initial breastfeeding support or education provided by a lactation consultant impacts on the breastfeeding decisions and on the feeling of empowerment regarding her feeding decisions of a new mother. A training class for a cohort of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) to teach them how to use motivational interviewing and Swanson's Theory of Caring to guide their lactation education was proposed to address this question. The mothers the IBCLCs work with will be surveyed both before and again after the training to evaluate if changing the approach they take makes mothers feel more empowered, and to measure how it influences their breastfeeding decision and satisfaction.

The anecdotal evidence that lactation consultants are becoming more rigid in the care they give, often directing mothers that exclusive breastfeeding should occur in all situations is concerning. The question, 'Would a more individualized approach that allows for some amount of combination feeding be more beneficial and effective and extend the time of breastfeeding?' is explored in an attempt to provide more a more patient centered approach and to improve breastfeeding outcomes.

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