Breastfeeding peer support: are there additional benefits?

Deborah Wade, Shona Haining, Ann Day

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Anecdotal discussion among breastfeeding peer supporters and the infant-feeding co-ordinator suggested that breastfeeding peer support provided by breastfeeding peer supporters may offer benefits to breastfeeding women and their families other than increasing breastfeeding initiation and sustainability. The aim of this research was to determine whether there was evidence to support this. The research team used focus groups to obtain information from 16 local women who had received breastfeeding peer support from breastfeeding peer supporters. The key themes that emerged were--improved mental health, increased self-esteem or confidence, parenting skills, improved family diet, breastfeeding sustainability and poor hospital experience.The findings suggest that breastfeeding peer supporters supporting mothers to breastfeed, with the intention of increasing both breastfeeding rates and sustainability, may have additional benefits in several aspects of families' lives. Breastfeeding peer support may play an important role in helping to attain targets such as reducing obesity and postnatal depression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-33
JournalCommunity practitioner : the journal of the Community Practitioners' & Health Visitors' Association
Volume82
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

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