Purpose: Maternal self-confidence facilitates infant growth and new mother role development. Infant ability to breastfeed and maternal breastfeeding self-confidence are imperative to helping mothers meet their breastfeeding goals. Consistent opportunity for infant movement in the prone position has been shown to improve breastfeeding ability; however, families report a lack of knowledge of how to safely support this activity. Perceptions of maternal self-confidence, infant development, and breastfeeding success upon completion of an infant prone positioning program with focus on posture, movement, and connection were studied.
Study design and methods: Qualitative interviews were conducted among breastfeeding mothers in three states to explore maternal perceptions of learning about infant prone positioning.
Results: Thirty-five mothers who completed an infant prone positioning program shared their perceptions of infant interaction, prone play and positioning, and breastfeeding self-confidence. Four primary themes were identified from the analysis: maternal knowledge and self-confidence; strategies and practices learned; breastfeeding benefits of infant prone positioning; and motivation for program participation.
Clinical implications: Our findings support consideration of teaching new mothers about prone positioning to enhance self-confidence in mothering, breastfeeding skills, infant development, and maternal-infant dyad bonding.
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