Breastfeeding self-efficacy: The effects of a breastfeeding promotion nursing intervention

Suzanne Hetzel Campbell, University of Rhode Island

Abstract

Past research has demonstrated the complex nature of breastfeeding, and brought to the forefront the many variables needed to describe and explain breastfeeding behavior in primiparous women. Research results have supported the importance of breastfeeding in promoting maternal-infant health, both physically by preventing disease, and emotionally by enhancing bonding and communication between mother and infant. However, despite these potential benefits, the majority of primiparous women will stop breastfeeding much earlier than recommended. The propensity to discontinue breastfeeding shortly after the birth of the baby has been associated with the mother's lack of confidence. Therefore, a quasiexperimental design was used to study the effects of a nursing intervention on breastfeeding success, in a sample of primiparous women attending childbirth classes in the Northeast. The intervention, based on Bandura's concept of self-efficacy embedded in Social Cognitive Theory and designed to promote breastfeeding, included prenatal breastfeeding education and support and assistance offered up to 6 weeks postpartally. It was hypothesized that: Primiparas who received the Breastfeeding Promotion Nursing Intervention (BPNI) would have higher scores on the composite measure of breastfeeding success than primiparas who were exposed to the control condition, when the pretreatment measure of breastfeeding self-efficacy was statistically controlled. The breastfeeding success score was a composite measure, the product of the postnatal breastfeeding self-efficacy measure, the number of days breastfed, and satisfaction with breastfeeding. Analysis of covariance showed that subjects in the experimental group had significantly higher scores on the composite measure of breastfeeding success than subjects in the control group, thus providing support for the hypothesis. The findings in a select sample of primiparous women attending childbirth classes in the Northeast, supported Bandura's concept of self-efficacy. Specifically, it was found that implementation of a BPNI, which incorporated the four principal sources of information from the theory, had an affect on the composite measure of breastfeeding success. The intervention developed extends the literature by providing support for the use of a composite measure of breastfeeding success, and a theoretically-based intervention, that provides both prenatal breastfeeding education and postpartum support for breastfeeding women. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynecology|Health Sciences, Nursing|Education, Health

Recommended Citation

Suzanne Hetzel Campbell, "Breastfeeding self-efficacy: The effects of a breastfeeding promotion nursing intervention" (1996). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI9707172.
http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/dissertations/AAI9707172

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