"One of those things the student is left to do". Student midwives' experience of infant feeding education. A phenomenological study.

SPENCER, Rachael, STEPHENSON, Jane and THOMAS, Chantelle (2022). "One of those things the student is left to do". Student midwives' experience of infant feeding education. A phenomenological study. Nurse Education in Practice, 63: 103416.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nepr.2022.103416


AIM/OBJECTIVE: To explore final year student midwives' experiences of breastfeeding education and clinical experience during their three year pre-registration midwifery degree course. BACKGROUND: Despite an increasing research base about what helps or hinders breastfeeding, there is a dramatic drop in breastfeeding prevalence within the first six weeks of birth. Breastfeeding support and education have been identified as influencing factors associated with breastfeeding prevalence, yet there is a paucity of evidence exploring infant feeding education for pre-registration student midwives. DESIGN: Qualitative data was gathered using semi-structured interviews with seventeen final year midwifery students in a Higher Education Institution in the North of England. METHODS: Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: Three core themes were identified: The Mentor-Student Relationship, Midwives and student midwives' attitudes towards breastfeeding and Theory-Practice Disassociation. University-based input provided them with underpinning knowledge but provided little opportunity to develop skills. Attitudes towards breastfeeding were predominantly negative, and these negative descriptions were frequently linked by students to time constraints and workload pressures. The relationship between students and mentors had a direct impact on students' development of breastfeeding support skills and confidence: students who had mentors who were enthusiastic about their role in facilitating learning in clinical practice were confident in supporting women with infant feeding. However, many students described the hospital environment as too busy for infant feeding skills teaching and guidance. CONCLUSIONS: Although few participants were dissatisfied with how their pre-registration midwifery education prepared them for clinical practice in general, the majority would have liked more opportunities to support women with infant feeding in complex and challenging cases, both in University and in clinical practice. There is a need for midwifery students to be provided with a variety of educational experiences such as theoretical classroom-based learning, simulation-based learning, peer learning, clinical care practice and direct service user engagement. These learning experiences need to include artificial feeding and breastfeeding.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Artificial feeding; Attitudes; Breastfeeding; Infant feeding; Mentorship; Midwifery education; Students' experiences; 1110 Nursing; 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy; Nursing
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nepr.2022.103416
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2022 16:13
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 10:47
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/30550

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