Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Nursing

Abstract

Breastfeeding has many proven health benefits as well as economical and environmental advantages. Although breastfeeding rates are increasing in the United States, the percentage of mothers who breastfeed for a full year is 17% to 20%, compared to approximately 79% globally. The purpose of this paper is to discuss barriers to and influencing factors of breastfeeding. This paper will utilize the Planned Behavior Theory as a theoretical framework to guide the interview questions. The core category of this study was bonding. The supporting categories that emerged through the research were the presence of support systems, cost-effectiveness, health benefits and convenience. Negative factors that were present in the experiences of the participants were their negative perceptions of the value culture correlates with breastfeeding, as well as returning to work. The findings reveal the crucial role nurses have in the promotion and support of breastfeeding through educating their clients. Future nursing research is needed to form a better understanding of factors influencing the perceptions of mothers, fathers, and employers in relation to breastfeeding.

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