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Professionally Mediated Peer Support and Early Breastfeeding Success

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Social support interventions that incorporate professionally mediated peer support (PMPS) for improved breastfeeding outcomes were compared with no special breastfeeding support. Fifty-five breastfeeding mothers participated. The breastfeeding outcomes of duration, completeness, satisfaction, and exclusive breastfeeding were compared at 6 weeks postpartum among an experimental group that received PMPS, and among younger community (YC) and older community (OC) groups that received no special breastfeeding support. The PMPS group exclusively breastfed for a significantly longer duration than the YC group. At 6 weeks, mothers in both community groups who had weaned were significantly less satisfied with their breastfeeding experiences than the mothers who were still nursing their babies. Professionally mediated peer support can improve the early breastfeeding outcomes of duration of exclusive breastfeeding and satisfaction with breastfeeding.

Keywords: breastfeeding; exclusive breastfeeding; peer support; professional support; social support

Document Type: Standard Article


Affiliations: 1: PATTY VARI is a Nursing Clinical Instructor, Research Associate, and Lactation Consultant at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota. 2: JOAN CAMBURN owns Bosom Buddies as a Lactation Consultant in private practice and is a part-time nutritionist for the Grand Forks County WIC Program in Grand Forks, North Dakota. 3: SUSAN HENLY was Associate Professor of Nursing at the University of North Dakota at the time this research was completed. She is currently a member of the School of Nursing Faculty at the University of Minnesota.

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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