Ineffective Breastfeeding

Definition: Dissatisfaction or difficulty a mother, infant, or child experiences with the breastfeeding process.


  • Prematurity; infant anomaly; poor infant sucking reflex
  • Infant receiving [numerous or repeated] supplemental feedings with artificial nipple
  • Maternal anxiety or ambivalence
  • Knowledge deficit
  • Previous history of breastfeeding failure
  • Interruption in breastfeeding
  • other on the book..



  • Unsatisfactory breastfeeding process
  • Persistence of sore nipples beyond the first week of breastfeeding
  • Insufficient emptying of each breast per feeding


  • Observable signs of inadequate infant intake [decrease in number of wet diapers, inappropriate weight loss/or inadequate gain]
  • Nonsustained or insufficient opportunity for suckling at the breast; infant inability [failure] to attach onto maternal breast correctly
  • Infant arching and crying at the breast; resistant latching on

SAMPLE CLINICAL APPLICATIONS: prematurity, cleft lip/palate, child abuse/neglect, failure to thrive, diseases of the breast


Sample NIC linkages:

  • Lactation Counseling: Use of an interactive helping process to assist in maintenance of successful breastfeeding
  • Breastfeeding Assistance: Preparing a new mother to breastfeed her infant
  • Support Group: Use of a group environment to provide emotional support and healthrelated information for members


  • Assess client knowledge about breastfeeding and extent of instruction that has been given.
  • Provides baseline information for identifying needs and developing plan of care.
  • Encourage discussion of current/previous breastfeeding experience(s). Identifies current needs and problems encountered to develop a plan of care.
  • Note previous unsatisfactory experience (including self or others). Often unsolved problems and stories told by others may cause doubt about chance for success.
  • other on the book..

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