Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing




Scott, Allison

Committee Member/Reader

Vowell-Johnson, Kelly


Rates of maternal morbidity and mortality are far too high in the United States compared to other developed countries. Additionally, breastfeeding is often poorly prioritized, leading to a negative community connotation and low rates of exclusive breastfeeding. The purpose of this study was to compile the available research on breastfeeding initiation and its association with risk for postpartum hemorrhage. Fifteen peer-reviewed articles were collected from databases and other scholarly articles and screened for correlation between breastfeeding and maternal health risk. Overall, many articles suggest that skin-to-skin contact and early initiation of breastfeeding may be the most effective way to reduce risk for postpartum hemorrhage and increase likelihood of long term exclusive breastfeeding. While further research needs to be conducted to acquire more data and hopefully affect best-practice standards, the findings in this literature review suggest that natural, or endogenous, oxytocin is the most optimal and least invasive way to prevent complications such as postpartum hemorrhage.


breastfeeding, oxytocin, postpartum hemorrhage, skin-to-skin contact, labor