Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 8-4-1965


The study was designed to discover if mothers and newborns on self-demand infant feeding were more successful in establishing breast feeding than a comparable group of mothers and infants on routine scheduled feedings. The need for the study grew out of the question as to whether or not the flexible feeding schedule would help to promote a successful initiation of breast feeding during the hospital period. The purposes of this study were (1) to determine select responses of newborn infants to self-demand feeding; (2) to determine specific effects of self-demand feeding on maternal lactation; (3) to provide information on self-demand feeding in the hospital; (4) to contribute data which may yield information to further nursing knowledge; and (5) to stimulate research on the effects of self-demand feeding in the hospital. The experimental method was used to conduct the study utilizing the parallel group technique. Data were collected on six selected factors which were measures of the dependent variable, success at breast feeding. A pressure gauge instrument was developed, pretested, and used in this study to measure objectively the degree of breast engorgement present in the nursing mothers. The numerical data obtained in the study were analyzed by statistical methods. The analysis of data for the self-demand and scheduled groups revealed (1) no significant difference in degree of breast engorgement, (2) no significant difference in degree of breast engorgement between mothers who had not nursed an infant before and those who had previously nursed, (3) a higher percentage incidence of cracked nipples in the routine group of mothers, (4) a higher percentage incidence of continuation of breast feeding in the self-demand group, (5) a significantly higher incidence of complementary feeding in the routine group of infants, (6) no significant difference in weight loss of the infants, (7) a significantly higher regain of weight among the self-demand infants, and (8) significantly more successful nursing activity of infants while at the breast among the self-demand group.