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A randomized controlled trial to test the effect of an antenatal educational intervention on breastfeeding duration among primiparous women Kluka, Sandra Maria

Abstract

Although the health benefits of breastfeeding have been well established, the majority of Canadian women wean prior to six months after birth. A randomized controlled trial was conducted to test the effect of an antenatal educational intervention on breastfeeding duration. The study examined how long women assigned to the intervention group (n=l 11) breastfed their infants compared to women who received usual care (n=98). Secondary outcomes of the study (i.e. maternal competence, breastfeeding confidence, maternal satisfaction, fatigue and onset of depressive symptoms) were analyzed in relation to breastfeeding duration. Primiparous women, who attended a series of antenatal classes and had decided to breastfeed their infants, were recruited. The intervention, which included completion of a pre-workshop guide and attendance at an interactive group workshop, emphasized strategies expectant mothers and their partners could use to prevent or minimize the problems most often reported as the reasons women quit breastfeeding. Strategies also were provided that have been regarded by mothers and health experts as being helpful to prolong lactation. The analysis was conducted on an intention-totreat basis. Results indicated there was no statistically significant difference between the groups regarding the proportion of women still mainly breastfeeding at 24 weeks after birth. Multivariate analyses yielded three significant predictive variables of breastfeeding duration including higher breastfeeding confidence (p=.001), non-smoking status (p=.017), and the mother receiving a visit by a community health nurse within two weeks after the infant's birth (p=.023). Implications for practice and research are discussed.

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