A Double-Edged Sword: Lactation Consultants' Perceptions of the Impact of Breast Pumps on the Practice of Breastfeeding

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This qualitative descriptive study examined the beliefs and experiences of 12 lactation consultants regarding the impact of breast pumps on breastfeeding practices. Interview topics on breast pumps included types and patterns of use, mothers' experiences, and advantages and risks. The lactation consultants reported an increase in the use of breast pumps due to improved marketing, a change in society's view of pumps as a necessity rather than a luxury, and the impact of birthing technology. Reasons given for this increased use were mothers' need to have greater control over the breastfeeding process and to quantify the amount of breastmilk. Concerns were expressed regarding an overdependency on breastfeeding technology by some lactation consultants and mothers.

Keywords: breast pumps; lactation consultants; quantification; technology

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1624/105812409X426297

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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