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Evaluating breastfeeding support : a randomised controlled trial of support from breastfeeding counsellors

Graffy, Jonathan Peter (2002)
M.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Two-thirds of UK mothers begin breastfeeding, but many soon stop. Although breastfeeding benefits health, infant feeding is influenced by social and attitudinal factors. Study one prospectively investigated the attitudes and experiences of 514 women. Past experience predicted which multiparae would stop by six weeks. Manual social class and considering bottle feeding did so for primiparae. Perceived insufficient milk was the commonest reason for stopping. Study two, a randomised trial of support from breastfeeding counsellors, recruited 720 women. At four months, 46.1% (143/310) intervention and 42.3% (131/310) control women breastfed (Chi\(^2\)=0.942, P=0.33); 73.9% (229/310) vs 79.4% (246/310) gave bottle feeds (Chi\(^2\)=2.60, P=0.11). Survival analysis confirmed that differences between intervention and control women's partial and full breastfeeding duration were not significant (P=0.45 and 0.15 respectively.) Significantly fewer intervention women felt they had insufficient milk. Qualitative analysis of women’s comments revealed they wanted better information, practical help with positioning, effective advice, encouragement and their feelings acknowledged. Women valued counselling, but their feeding behaviour changed little, which may reflect the strength of social influences and that not all mothers contacted the counsellors postnatally. Practical support in the early postnatal period is important. Counselling may increase women's confidence in breastfeeding and producing enough milk.

Type of Work:M.D. thesis.
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Medicine
Department:Department of Primary Care and General Practice
Keywords:Breastfeeding, Infant feeding, volunteer, peer support, randomised controlled trial
Subjects:RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
RJ Pediatrics
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:696
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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