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The role of the General Practice (GP) in the community has developed and can be the first point of contact for medical assistance. This has enabled the nurse in General practice to expand their role, becoming more involved in the primary care of the patient and their families. Families today are becoming smaller and are usually separated from each other as the world is becoming a more transient population. This transition has led to new parents having less contact with babies. As a consequence they have become unfamiliar as to what is expected of them. With less family assistance, parents can turn to their General Practice (GP) for this support from the doctor and nurse. The nurse in fulfilling this role of a supporting link to the new parent will offer reassurance and promote education. This in turn allows the nurse to form a relationship with the parent and in doing so can assist and support the new mother in their babies care. This is important as the nurse is not present at the birth, so the relationship will differ to that of a midwife. The GP nurse often sees the mother pre conception and postnatally enhancing follow up care. A factor in the necessity of the importance of developing this rapport with the new mother is the trend for shorter hospital stays where education at times is not fully comprehended by the new parents.
This paper will discuss strategies to assist the new mother in preparation for caring for her baby. It will concentrate on feeding and sleeping issues that may develop with the infant in its first few months of life. Through referencing of current literature, the paper will examine these plans and the possible outcomes for both mother and infant.
In our role as a GP nurse we are in a position to facilitate a mother’s knowledge about how she is going to feed her baby. The Centre for Community Child Health suggests that “education programs with support and peer support” rather then the supply of leaflets all contribute to an increase in the instigation and length of breastfeeding (www.raisingchildren.com.au). If mothers are bombarded with large amounts of reading material they can find it overwhelming and not benefit from the literature. Robertson states that “parents often complain of receiving conflicting advice postnatally and one good reference manual can help overcome this by providing consistency within itself”(Robertson 2003). By having someone which the mother can speak to lessens the feeling of isolation. The GP nurse can use her position to encourage mothers to speak to her about any problems that they may be having with caring for her infant. Promoting attendance to an antenatal clinic will give the new mother access to advice, education and peer support which is a valuable tool for new mothers to have. With the population being computer savvy many new parents may wish to access advice on the internet. This is especially true for new mothers who live away from their family and friends or who live in the rural community. “In general, living in a rural or remote area translates to limited access to medical and health professional facilities”(www.aph.gov.au). Breastfeeding is considered to be the most important method to feed a baby. ‘Breastfeeding is the natural, physiologic way of feeding infants and young children, and human milk is the milk made specifically for human infants” (Newman 2008). Newman states that breastfeeding should be simple and uncomplicated for the majority of inexperienced mothers. To prepare herself for breast feeding a number of matters need to be discussed. Firstly a good fitting bra is essential in supporting her new breast tissue and a proper bra fitting may aid this. Discussions on what clothes to take to hospital to aid in effective breastfeeding needs to be addressed as the correct clothing will...
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