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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2004 Sep;158(9):897-902.

Effectiveness of breastfeeding peer counseling in a low-income, predominantly Latina population: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-4017, USA. djc@discovernet.net

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Breastfeeding peer counseling has improved breastfeeding rates in developing countries; however, its impact in this country has not been adequately evaluated.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the effectiveness of an existing, breastfeeding peer counseling program within the United States.

DESIGN:

Randomized, prospective, controlled trial in which participants were recruited prenatally and randomly assigned to receive either routine breastfeeding education or routine breastfeeding education plus peer counseling.

SETTING:

An urban hospital serving a large population of low-income Latinas.

PARTICIPANTS:

Pregnant women (< or =26 weeks' gestation) were recruited from the hospital's prenatal clinic. Inclusion criteria specified that participants be low income, be considering breastfeeding, have delivered a healthy, full-term singleton, and have access to a telephone. Intervention Breastfeeding peer counseling services included 1 prenatal home visit, daily perinatal visits, 3 postpartum home visits, and telephone contact as needed.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Breastfeeding rates at birth and 1, 3, and 6 months postpartum.

RESULTS:

The proportion not initiating breastfeeding was significantly lower in the intervention group than among controls (8/90 [9%] vs 17/75 [23%]; relative risk, 0.39; 95% confidence interval, 0.18-0.86). The probability of stopping breastfeeding also tended to be lower in the intervention group at both 1 month (36% vs 49%; relative risk, 0.72; 95% confidence interval, 0.50-1.05) and 3 months (56% vs 71%; relative risk, 0.78; 95% confidence interval, 0.61-1.00).

CONCLUSION:

These findings demonstrate that, in the United States, peer counselors can significantly improve breastfeeding initiation rates and have an impact on breastfeeding rates at 1 and 3 months post partum.

PMID:
15351756
DOI:
10.1001/archpedi.158.9.897
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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