Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Shauna Burke


Supportive breastfeeding resources are needed in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) to effectively promote breastfeeding among mothers of preterm infants, yet researchers have not examined the existence of such support in a Canadian context. The purpose of this study was to determine, using an environmental scan, the types and frequencies of breastfeeding resources available to mothers of preterm infants in Canadian NICUs. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 33 key informants from 29 level 3 NICUs across Canada. Six categories of resources were identified via content analysis: breastfeeding-friendly layout, breastfeeding support personnel, breastfeeding education for mothers, breast pump-related resources, coordination of post-discharge breastfeeding support, and breastfeeding-related policies. Several resources were reported by informants to exist in a high proportion of NICUs, such as privacy measures and breast pump availability, whereas other resources were reported in lower frequencies, such as the presence of peer counsellors and breastfeeding-related policies.