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Breastfeeding perception affects decisions and behaviors in breastfeeding. This research study aimed to explore the perception in breastfeeding of postpartum mothers with newborns hospitalized in Neonatal Intensive Care Units [NICU]. Descriptive qualitative analysis was used in this study. The participants comprised sixteen postpartum mothers with newborns hospitalized in NICU. Data were collected between February and May, 2017 from in-depth interview two to three times for each mother, approximately 30-45 minutes/time. Each interview was tape-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Consequently, content analysis was employed for data analysis. The findings revealed two themes of perception in breastfeeding of postpartum mothers with newborns hospitalized in NICU; “value of breastfeeding” and “breastfeeding difficulties”. The first theme - “value of breastfeeding” had three categories including: 1) breastfeeding is useful, 2) breastfeeding is the duty of mother, and 3) breastfeeding brings happiness. The second theme “breastfeeding difficulties” included four categories:1) postpartum complications, 2) stress and anxiety, 3) lacking skills in providing adequate milk supply, and 4) difficulties in practicing breast-feeding initiation. The study could provide better understanding and further insights into breastfeeding from maternal perspectives of postpartum mothers with newborns hospitalized in NICU. The findings also offer possible approaches in the development of effective holistic nursing intervention that promote and support postpartum mothers to continue breastfeeding their babies.
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