Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Breastfeeding promotion--Iowa; Breastfeeding promotion; Iowa;


The purpose of this study was to describe the practices of selected Iowa hospitals in the promotion of breastfeeding. Routine hospital policies, procedures, and patient education programs regarding breastfeeding mothers and their infants were investigated.

The study sample consisted of hospitals in the state of Iowa which had 200 births or more for the reporting year as listed in the 1989 American Hospital Association Guide to the Health Care Field. Based on this criterion the sample size was 44. A 20 item self-reporting questionnaire was designed and used as the tool for data collection. Frequencies and percentages were reported for each response. Hospital policies and procedures which have been shown to be either a positive or negative influence on breastfeeding duration were investigated. Ninety percent or more of the hospitals surveyed kept mother and infant together after delivery, utilized a demand breastfeeding schedule, and had 24 hour rooming-in available. Only 43% encouraged breastfeeding mothers to keep their infants at night. Formula gift packs were provided to breastfeeding mothers at discharge by 95% of the hospitals. Thirty-two percent of the hospitals provided a supplemental feeding after breastfeeding and all indicated using a regular bottle nipple when feeding was administered.

All hospitals surveyed offered patient breastfeeding education within the postpartum unit. Breastfeeding education was provided by a registered nurse in all hospitals and three utilized the services of a lactation consultant. All hospitals followed up on breastfeeding mothers with a telephone call, the majority of which was conducted before 3 weeks postpartum.

Based upon the results of this study, it was concluded that selected Iowa hospitals, in general, are implementing many practices which positively influence breastfeeding success. However, these same hospitals are also participating in some practices which have a negative influence on the breastfeeding process. Therefore, the role Iowa hospitals have in the promotion of breastfeeding cannot be identified as either clearly supportive or non-supportive due to the presence of both positive and negative practices.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Health, Recreation, and Community Services


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

First Advisor

Susan Koch


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Date Original


Object Description

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