The Breast-feeding Conversation: A Philosophic Exploration of Support
Support from others such as family, friends, and healthcare providers is an important aspect of breast-feeding. Nurses can be active participants in improving the health of women and children by offering support to new mothers that facilitates effective breast-feeding and maternal breast-feeding confidence. Most early breast-feeding experiences in the United States take place in a hospital on a maternal-newborn care unit under the supervision of nurses. The quality of these early experiences can influence a woman's decision to breast-feed and how long she chooses to breast-feed.1,2 Greater understanding of how nurses can offer support is needed. This article presents a philosophic inquiry of breast-feeding support through the perspective of Gadamerian hermeneutics.3 It is argued that breast-feeding support is a hermeneutic encounter involving a text (a particular feeding at the breast), conversational partners (a mother, her newborn, and a nurse), and a dialogue that facilitates maternal breast-feeding confidence and effective breast-feeding through interpretation or understanding of the text.
Advances in Nursing Science
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)