Jane Grassley, professor and Joanna “Jody” DeMeyer Endowed Chair for the School of Nursing, celebrates the publication of a collaborative manuscript, “Evaluation of a Designated Family Bonding Time to Decrease Interruptions and Increase Exclusive Breastfeeding,” in the June 2018 peer reviewed journal, Nursing for Women’s Health.
In addition to Grassley, researchers included Rick Tivis, research associate professor and assistant director of the Idaho Center for Health Research at Idaho State University; Julie Finney, unit-based educator; Susan Chapman, lactation consultant; and Susan Bennett, lactation consultant, all at St. Luke’s Health System. The evidence-based project was an excellent display of the partnerships between Boise State’s College of Health Sciences, St. Luke’s Health System and the Idaho Center for Health Research at Idaho State University.
The project served as a quality improvement plan to implement a daily family bonding time in the mother/baby care unit at St. Luke’s in Meridian and to evaluate the unit’s effect with interruptions, mothers’ perceptions of interruptions, and exclusive breastfeeding rates. Exclusive breastfeeding was measured as the number of feedings where the only method of feeding was through breast feeding during a newborn’s entire hospitalization. The project had a sample of 60 postpartum women and was conducted over three separate phases. Family bonding time is described as between mother and baby.
During phases one and three, data was collected before family bonding time was initiated and when regular interruptions occurred. The data focused on the kind of interruptions (number, duration, and by whom), women’s perceptions of those interruptions, and exclusive breastfeeding rates. During phase two, however, the family bonding time was set up between 2 and 4 p.m. where women were encouraged to rest with their newborns in their rooms and all interruptions were limited to those that were urgent, medically necessary, or requested by the women.
As a result, the group of researchers found that there was a significant amount of time associated with interruptions before family bonding time. They also found that exclusive breastfeeding rates increased significantly once family bonding time had begun. Thus, they concluded that new mothers experience many interruptions during their hospital stays. Documenting sources of interruptions before launching family bonding time helps identify hospital staff who need to be informed of how they can reduce these interruptions during a designated family bonding time. Addressing concerns of these nurses before implementation can facilitate project sustainability within the unit.