Feasibility Study : Promoting Breast Feeding at Norwalk Hospital

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)



First Advisor

Glee Wahlquist


A review of the literature detailing breast feeding practices has identified discrepancies between actual rates of initiation and duration of breast feeding and rates outlined as part of a national health objective. The national health objective goal is for breast feeding "to increase to at least 75% the proportion of mothers who breast feed their babies in the early postpartum period and to at least 50% the proportion who continue breast feeding until their babies are 5 to 6 months old" (Department of Health and Human Services, DHHS, 1990b p.111). In light of the Surgeon General's guidelines, a feasibility study was conducted with the following purposes in mind: to identify existing lactation service providers, to assess the needs of an identified target population of Latina and African American women receiving prenatal care at Norwalk Hospital, to compare current breast feeding rates with those advocated by the Surgeon General, and to develop a breast feeding feasibility study, ex post facto, descriptive, and survey methodology research designs were utilized. Survey research was utilized to gather data from a defined population of lactation consultants. Ex post facto research design was utilized to gather data regarding the breast feeding practices of Norwalk Hospital's clinic population, and descriptive research was used to describe and document aspects of breast feeding promotion as they naturally occur. Following the analysis of data, guidelines for the development of a cost-effective lactation program were developed. These guidelines will assist Norwalk Hospital in achieving the national health objectives advocated by the Surgeon General.


Master's Administrative Project submitted to the Faculty Sacred Heart University Nursing Program in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree Master of Science in Nursing.