What knowledge of breastfeeding do nursing students hold and what are the factors influencing this knowledge: An integrative literature review

Publication Name

Nurse Education in Practice


Aim: The aim of this review was to explore the preregistration nursing students' breastfeeding knowledge and the sources they used to develop that knowledge as a health care professional. Background: New registered nurses do not feel prepared to support breastfeeding women in neonatal and paediatric settings. Results: Preregistration nursing students have sufficient knowledge of the physiology of lactation but insufficient knowledge on supporting women to decide on the practical aspects of breastfeeding and its challenges for healthy or sick babies. The sources of knowledge included the students' personal experiences and the education and training that they received during their nursing course. The two themes extracted from the data that related to the sources of knowledge were: a) informal knowledge through experience and b) formal education. Conclusions: There is a need for new ways to align the students' informal sources of breastfeeding knowledge to their formal education, focusing on supporting women to make decisions on the practical aspects of breastfeeding, including the most common challenges. Tweetable abstract: Nursing students’ knowledge of breastfeeding practice: an integrative review

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