This essay is focused on breastfeeding as a key public health issue in health promotion in midwifery practice. After presenting a case study involving a client who has a potential breastfeeding issue, the aim will is to achieve a positive outcome using health promotion models. Relevant theories and literature are then explored and the implications for midwifery practice and care planning critically evaluated. The protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding are one a vital convern in public health throughout Europe. It is widely acknowledged that low rates and early cessation of breastfeeding have important health and social implications for women, children and the community as a whole. As the World Health Organization (WHO) reports, health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. It moves beyond a focus on individual behaviour towards a wide range of social and environmental interventions. There is strong research support for the claim that breast milk is the most appropriate nourishment for most infants. The benefits of breastfeeding are physical, emotional, and economic. Therefore, mothers should be encouraged and supported to breastfeed, though they should not be made to feel guilty or inadequate if circumstances interfere with their ability to do so. CLINICAL SCENARIO
The chosen scenario involves Sam, a pseudonym to protect her anonymity and thus respect confidentiality (NMC, 2008). Sam is a 22-year-old British primipara currently living with her parents because she is unemployed. However, she has good emotional and economic support from her partner and parents. At the booking interview, which she attended with her boyfriend, she was considered by the midwife as low-risk because she had no previous social, medical or obstetric problems. Both cooperated well, but they clearly didn’t have enough information about the process of motherhood and childbirth; by the time the midwife asked them about breastfeeding, Sam seemed a little disappointed (reluctant?) about it because she thought that her shape would change, and also about how painful the process was going to be. She thought there was no difference between breast and formula milk, so she considered that formula milk feeding her future baby would be the most comfortable choice. WOMEN´S HEALTH NEEDS WHITIN THE CASE STUDY
It is important to consider factors influencing health education, whether socioeconomic, cultural or ethnics, to identify what women want to learn and how they can achieve maximum learning. In this clinical scenario, Sam is English, so clearly language is not an issue in her care provision; she has good emotional and economic support from her family but is unemployed, which has important knock-on effects for her pregnancy and the family’s life thereafter. Sam’s status as a young first-time mother might be a concern, as it is well known that younger woman are more likely to bottle feed their babies. Another point to address is that Sam appeared at the booking appointment not to have any information about the benefits of breastfeeding, and it was important to focus on giving the correct information to help her to make the best decision for her and her baby. Expectant and new parents have the right to full, correct and independent infant feeding information, including guidance on safe, timely and appropriate complementary feeding, so that they can make informed decisions. ROLE OF THE MIDWIFE and HEALTH PROMOTION (midwifery) THEORIES Breastfeeding is a very important aspect of public health that concerns especially young women. Young women today do not have the necessary information and are not aware of the advantages of breast milk; this is where the midwife has a crucial role, because giving the right support and education promotes breastfeeding and reduces the number of women who choose to feed their children with formula milk...
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