Ann Gunma Health Sci
Online ISSN : 1343-4179
ISSN-L : 1343-4179
Trends in research on breastfeeding support in the NICUs and related issues
Rika TakiguchiShiomi Kanaizumi
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2023 Volume 43 Pages 9-17


The aims of this study were to explore trends in research regarding support for breastfeeding in NICUs, and to discuss future challenges related to this topic. A literature review was conducted by searching the Japana Centra Revuo Medicina Web using ‘neonatal ICU’, ‘breastfeeding’ and ‘nurse’ as key words. Twelve articles were identified and analyzed. In terms of study design, quantitative descriptive and hypothesis testing designs were most frequent, counting four for each. The study subjects were predominantly NICU staff, while a few studies analyzed obstetrics ward staff or the neonates’ mothers. Qualitative inductive analysis revealed the following five categories of research content: actual situation of breastfeeding support in NICUs, factors affecting the continuation of breastfeeding by mothers who are separated from their babies, effect of staff education with regard to breastfeeding, collaboration between the NICU and obstetrics ward for providing breastfeeding support, and feelings of the mother as the receiver of breastfeeding support. The studies clarified that NICU staff tend to lack confidence in providing breastfeeding support, making it difficult for them to provide support, and that although staff education enhances staff confidence in providing support, utilization of midwives who are equipped with the professional knowledge and skill is also required for improving their support technique. Perceptions and perceived difficulties among staff constitute a topic to be explored in future research, to extend the implementation of breastfeeding support.

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© 2023 National University Corporation Gunma University
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