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Background: Reflexology means the application of the manual the pressure to specific points of the feet called "reflex points" that are believed to correspond to other parts of the body. The study aimed to assess the effect of reflexology strategy on the mother’s breast milk volume and their premature weight gain.
Design: An experimental design was used to conduct the study. A convenience sample of 120 Primiparous mothers and their preterm infants was chosen based on systematic simple random.
Methods: Three tools were designed by the researchers to collect the necessary data to implement the reflexology strategy framework. 1.Structured interview questionnaire sheet, 2. Assessment observational checklist sheet for Premature using 2 scales: A. Transitioning from tube feeds to oral feeds, B. The Preterm Infant Breastfeeding Behavior Scale, three Evaluation Phase observational checklist based on Mother-Infant- Breastfeeding Progress Tool (MIBPT):
Statistical Analysis: The collected data were coded, analyzed, figured and tabulated using frequencies and percentage, mean, standard deviation & chi-square tests.
Results: There were a statistically significant difference and marked improvement in reflexology group total scores of feeding performance (P < 0.001) after intervention for 6 weeks approved of reflexology strategy. Reflexology group majority (88.3%) demonstrated good breastfeeding as compared to (55.2%) in the study group.
Conclusion: The present study highlights the effect of reflexology strategy on the mother’s satisfaction, breast milk volume, and their premature weight gain. On the other hand, intervention accelerates the early transition of premature from the tube feeding to breastfeeding and discharge from the hospital.
Recommendation: In-service education program could be designed and implemented in the pediatric field to enable the nurses to apply reflexology strategy to improve empower early transitioning of the preterm from tube feeds to breastfeeding and early discharge. Reflexology strategy is non-pharmacological, simple, noninvasive and cheap technique would be welcomed by the nurses, physicians and mothers.
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