Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing (MAN)



First Advisor

Joyce P. Miller DNP, RN

Second Advisor

Kaija Freborg DNP, RN


The incidence and duration of breast milk feedings for preterm infants, via gavage, bottle and/or breast, is less than that of full-term infants despite scientific-based benefits of breast milk for preterm infants. Maternal-neonatal nurses play a critical role in supporting mothers of preterm infants and promoting breast milk for this population. However, when caring for the mother-preterm dyad, the maternal-neonatal nurse may encounter several barriers in the promotion of breast milk. It has been identified that one of the major barriers to the initiation and maintenance of lactation in mothers of preterm infants is the inconsistent information and lack of expert advice mothers receive regarding the importance of breast milk for their preterm infant. The development of a nursing educational program supported by Newman's Health as Expanded Consciousness theory and Pender's Health Promotion model, will enhance nurses' knowledge of the importance of breast milk for preterm infants. As a result, nurses' comfort levels and attitudes in educating mothers on the importance of providing breast milk for their preterm infants should improve, thereby promoting the use of breast milk for these vulnerable infants.


SC 11.MAN.2013.Root.L