Exclusive Breastfeeding: Theoretical Framework Discussion

Introduction

Exclusive breastfeeding is among the highly recommended practices associated with the proper and timely development of infants since antibodies in breast milk help newborn babies to develop immunity to common infections and viruses. Because of its health benefits, exclusive breastfeeding is promoted among expecting and new mothers in different ways. The planned DNP project is to add to the existing knowledge on the topic by implementing scripting and role-playing interventions to support the exclusivity of breastfeeding.

Core Aspects

Concerning the theoretical framework, the interventions to keep pregnant and postpartum women motivated to resort to exclusive breastfeeding will be guided by the Health Promotion Model formulated by Nola Pender in the 1980s. The theory’s use to plan and implement the listed interventions is linked with the first and the second DNP essentials. They relate to scientific underpinnings for practice and organizational/systems leadership for quality improvement, respectively.

To select the framework, it was critical to establish links between the most common problems surrounding the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding and basic assumptions of popular and widely used nursing theories. One of such positions in Nola Pender’s theory is that people’s unique characteristics and experiences affect their actions and motivation to engage in particular health behaviors (Cangöl & Şahin, 2017; Chasse, 2017).

This theoretical assumption applies to the selected topic since women have a variety of reasons to avoid exclusive breastfeeding, including subjective judgments related to the sufficiency of breast milk, knowledge gaps, neonates’ illnesses, nipple trauma, and breast engorgement (Bennett & Grassley, 2017; Samayam & Krishna, 2017). Another statement of critical importance informing Nola Pender’s theory is that health-promoting behaviors are more likely to occur when they are enabled, supported, and anticipated by those to whom people trust (Cangöl & Şahin, 2017). Significantly, the role-playing method is associated with increases in the rates of exclusive breastfeeding, and it involves individualized counseling (Savabi Esfahani, Kohan, & Ehsanpour, 2016).

The chosen theoretical framework will best fit the planned DNP project because it is already used in breastfeeding motivational programs and explains links between barriers to health-promoting behaviors, self-efficacy, and behavioral outcomes. To begin with, referring to other researchers’ experiences, Nola Pender’s theory can be used to structure and implement motivational programs to encourage exclusive breastfeeding that are based on diverse methods, such as interviews, dissemination of motivational and educational handout materials, or post-discharge follow-up phone calls (Cangöl & Şahin, 2017).

Moreover, the selected theory is centered on the concepts of self-efficacy, barriers to health, and facilitating factors (Cangöl & Şahin, 2017). It is critical that the topic of breastfeeding has been widely studied with reference to barriers (Cangöl & Şahin, 2017). By paying enough attention to such barriers and ways to overcome them, it will be possible to use scripting in an effective manner and plan nurses’ responses to any psychological or medical concern associated with exclusive breastfeeding. In a similar manner, this knowledge will be applied to provide individualized breastfeeding support with the help of role play interventions.

Conclusion

To sum it up, Nola Pender’s theory demonstrates the great role of individual factors and perceived self-efficacy in motivation to engage in health-supporting behaviors. Therefore, it will support the development and implementation of scripts enabling nurses to provide timely support to expecting and new mothers with diverse problems and needs. More than that, Pender’s theoretical assumptions regarding modeling healthy behaviors will help to plan role-play activities. Activities involving the development of new approaches to nursing practice with the help of nursing theories and evaluating their effectiveness will help to comply with the first and the second essential DNP requirements.

References

Bennett, C. F., & Grassley, J. S. (2017). A community partnership to support breastfeeding mothers of late preterm infants. Nursing for Women’s Health, 21(4), 274-282.

Cangöl, E., & Şahin, N. H. (2017). The effect of a breastfeeding motivation program maintained during pregnancy on supporting breastfeeding: A randomized controlled trial. Breastfeeding Medicine, 12(4), 218-226.

Chasse, J. D. (2017). Reducing infant morbidity with adolescent mothers. Obstetrics & Gynecology International Journal, 8(2), 1-6.

Samayam, P., & Krishna, P. (2017). Maternal factors influencing exclusive breastfeeding of babies at six weeks of age. International Journal of Contemporary Pediatrics, 4, 15-18.

Savabi Esfahani, M., Kohan, S., & Ehsanpour, S. (2016). Promoting breastfeeding self-efficacy through role-playing in pregnant women. International Journal of Pediatrics, 4(7), 2061-2068.