Provision of Telelactation Support to Improve Breastfeeding Outcome
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Breastfeeding is a valuable infant feeding method that offers many preventative health benefits to mothers and infants. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization provide recommendations outlining the length of time infants should breastfeed and be exclusively breastfed to receive adequate nutrition and preventative health advantages. Currently, national and local breastfeeding rates remain below the Health People 2020 desired breastfeeding benchmarks. The goal of this evidence-based quality improvement project was to increase breastfeeding rates and maternal breastfeeding self-efficacy to optimize infant nutrition by improving access to breastfeeding support services through the provision of a telelactation program. A quasi-experimental, single group study design with retrospective chart review and pre and post evaluation was used to measure the outcomes of the telelactation project. The participants included three breastfeeding mother-infant dyads from a local primary care clinic in Missouri. Unfortunately, due to the small sample size of participants, the project did not have a significant impact on the clinic’s breastfeeding rates or maternal breastfeeding self-efficacy. The results did indicate that the participating mothers had a relatively high level of satisfaction with using the telelactation program, suggesting that such innovations are fairly well accepted among breastfeeding mothers. Thus, telelactation support programs should continue to be trialed in an effort to improve breastfeeding support initiatives, increase local and national breastfeeding rates and maximize the preventative health benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and infants.
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