The paradox of nursing practice on breastfeeding promotion: what they say and what they do

Mariana de Oliveira Fonseca-Machado, Juliana Cristina dos Santos Monteiro, Alecssandra de Fátima Silva Viduedo, Vanderlei José Haas, Lisiane Camargo Alves, Flávia Gomes-Sponholz


Background: Nursing professionals qualified and aware of the importance of breastfeeding as a practice permeated by social, cultural, historical, economic and psychological factors contribute significantly to its establishment and mainten-
ance. The objective was to describe the breastfeeding-related performance of nursing professionals in the Family Health Strategy from the perspective of health promotion.

Methods: An observational and cross-sectional study developed between April and July 2010, involving 45 Registered Nurses who work in the Family Health Strategy in Uberaba, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Data were collected through a self-
administered questionnaire and through participant observation of the professionals at educational groups for pregnant and breastfeeding clients, home visits in the postpartum period, prenatal and children consultations. We used univariate data analysis and data obtained by observations were described.

Results: Most professionals said that they often guided about breastfeeding on the activities investigated. These assertions about the development of breastfeeding promotion activities were not very consistent with practice. Their practical performance was not consistent with the proposal of health promotion to go beyond the biological dimension of breastfeeding.

Conclusions: We found a discrepancy between what the professionals stated in the questionnaires and what they used to do in their practice in health services. These findings contradict the assumptions of the Family Health Strategy and provide opportunity for further studies to clarify this gap.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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