A feasibility study of a multidimensional breastfeeding-support intervention in Ireland.
Published on Mar 1, 2018in Midwifery1.778
· DOI :10.1016/J.MIDW.2017.12.018
Abstract Background Breastfeeding is the optimum mode of infant feeding. Despite this, most global populations do not achieve the World Health Organisation's recommendation of exclusive breast milk for the first 6 months of life. Irish breastfeeding rates are among the lowest in Europe, necessitating a well-designed breastfeeding-support intervention. Aim To evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of a multidimensional breastfeeding intervention in a rural and an urban maternity setting in Ireland. Design A feasibility study of a breastfeeding-support intervention. Setting Participants were recruited from The National Maternity Hospital (Dublin, urban) and Wexford General Hospital (Wexford, rural). Questionnaires were completed antenatally, at 6 weeks postpartum and at 3 months postpartum to assess acceptability of the intervention and determine breastfeeding status. Participants Pregnant women were recruited in the 3 rd trimester, alongside a support partner. Intervention The intervention consisted of an antenatal class (including the physiology and practical approaches to breastfeeding), a one-to-one breastfeeding consultation with a lactation consultant after birth, access to a breastfeeding helpline, online resources, and a postnatal breastfeeding support group which included a one-to-one consultation with the lactation consultant. Results One hundred women from The National Maternity Hospital, Dublin and 27 women from Wexford General Hospital were recruited. The antenatal class was attended by 77 women in Dublin and 23 in Wexford; thus, 100 women participated in the intervention. Seventy-six women had a one-to-one postnatal consultation with a lactation consultant in Dublin and 23 in Wexford. Fifty and 45 women in Dublin, and 15 and 15 in Wexford responded to the 6-week and 3-month questionnaires, respectively. At 3 months postpartum, 70% of respondents from Dublin and 60% from Wexford were breastfeeding. Mothers perceived the one-to-one consultation with the lactation consultant during postnatal hospitalization as the most helpful part of the intervention. Inclusion of a support partner was universally viewed positively as a means to support the mother's decision to initiate and continue breastfeeding. Conclusion This multidimensional intervention is well-accepted and feasible to carry out within an Irish cohort, in both urban and rural areas. Data from this feasibility study will be used to design a randomized controlled trial of a breastfeeding-support intervention.