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Breastfeeding Among Nurses in Florida: Epidemiological Assessment

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Introduction

Breastfeeding is regarded as one of the best measures to provide a healthy boost to infants and babies. It is recommended that all mothers, unless medically contraindicated, should breastfeed their newborns for at least six months exclusively for the babies to benefit from the nutritional, immunological as well as the social advantages of breastmilk and breastfeeding. The main positive aspect of breastfeeding is the provision of the baby with adequate nutrition that enriches their lives and their immunity levels (Dachew & Bifftu, 2014). It also helps to create a bond between the mother and the baby early enough in life. However, breastfeeding especially for the working nurses affects their work schedules and may also interfere with their shifts and productivity at the workplace (Weddig, Baker, & Auld, 2011).

In Florida, the number of licensed nurses well over 500,000 according to the 2014-2015 data. Of these, over 74% are female. This means that over 380,000 nurses are at anyone time bringing up families and are therefore likely to be breastfeeding. From the demographic characteristics of the workforce, over 60% of the nurse workforce in Florida comprises of nurses below the age of 40 years (Florida Centre for Nursing, 2015). There is, therefore, a vast majority of these nurses who are directly affected by the breastfeeding concern, hence its significance.

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The goal of this assessment is to bring out the gravity of the public health concern as affecting the nurse workforce in the region. The objective is to develop appropriate and working strategy to ensure that nurses and their families benefit from breastfeeding while protecting their jobs remaining productive. This would be indicated by the positive responses received from the working nurses on their breastfeeding and work balance. The secondary data that will be used in this assessment will include the best strategies as having been applied to other industries and setting. This information will be gathered from online academic and professional journal and is expected to be publicly available information.

1. Dachew, B. A., & Bifftu, B. B. (2014). Breastfeeding practice and associated factors among female nurses and midwives at North Gondar Zone, Northwest Ethiopia: a cross-sectional institution based study. International Breastfeeding Journal, 9(1), 11. https://doi.org/10.1186/1746-4358-9-11

2. Florida Centre for Nursing (2015). Nurses Workforce Data. https://www.flcenterfornursing.org/StatewideData/AboutourStatewideEfforts.aspx

3. Weddig, J., Baker, S. S., & Auld, G. (2011). Perspectives of Hospital-Based Nurses on Breastfeeding Initiation Best Practices. JOGNN – Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 40(2), 166–178. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1552-6909.2011.01232.x

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