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BMJ. 2004 Jan 3;328(7430):26.

Randomised controlled trial of support from volunteer counsellors for mothers considering breast feeding.

Author information

1
Department of General Practice and Primary Care, Barts and the London, Queen Mary, University of London, London E1 4NS. jonathan.graffy@phpc.cam.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate whether offering volunteer support from counsellors in breast feeding would result in more women breast feeding.

DESIGN:

Randomised controlled trial.

SETTING:

32 general practices in London and south Essex.

PARTICIPANTS:

720 women considering breast feeding.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Primary outcome was prevalence of any breast feeding at six weeks. Secondary outcomes were the proportion of women giving any breast feeds, or bottle feeds at four months, duration of any breast feeding, time to introduction of bottle feeds, and satisfaction with breast feeding.

RESULTS:

Offering support in breast feeding did not significantly increase the prevalence of any breast feeding to six weeks (65% (218/336) in the intervention group and 63% (213/336) in the control group; relative risk 1.02, 95% confidence interval 0.84 to 1.24). Survival analysis up to four months confirmed that neither duration of breast feeding nor time to introduction of formula feeds differed significantly between control and intervention groups. Not all women in the intervention group contacted counsellors postnatally, but 73% (123/179) of those who did rated them as very helpful. More women in the intervention group than in the control group said that their most helpful advice came from counsellors rather than from other sources.

CONCLUSIONS:

Women valued the support of a counsellor in breast feeding, but the intervention did not significantly increase breastfeeding rates, perhaps because some women did not ask for help.

PMID:
14703543
PMCID:
PMC313903
DOI:
10.1136/bmj.328.7430.26
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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