Breastfeeding Education and Support to Improve Breastfeeding Retention
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Breastmilk is recognized as the best form of nutrition for infants, aged birth to six months, by the World Health Organization, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Health benefits from breastfeeding are numerous for both mothers and infants. The retention of exclusive breastfeeding to six months is a nationally recognized public health issue addressed by Healthy People 2030. This evidence-based exempt research project aimed to improve breastfeeding exclusivity and duration in first time breastfeeders by providing prenatal breastfeeding education paired with postnatal support calls through six weeks postpartum. A quantitative, quasi-experimental two cohort study design was used. Outcomes were measured with data collected from the participants’ medical records and throughout the postnatal interactions. Twenty-four participants who were established primigravid prenatal patients intending breastfeeding patients from a local obstetric gynecologic clinic were enrolled. The data from the baseline and intervention cohorts was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Exclusive breastfeeding was improved by 33.3% (p= .003) and duration of breastfeeding was improved by 11.7% (p= .134) following the interventions. This study suggests that interventions supporting breastfeeding, provided by healthcare professionals, from the clinic setting, can improve breastfeeding outcomes with statistical and clinical significance.
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