Effects of Novel Breastfeeding Education on Exclusive Breastfeeding Practices in Rural East Texas




Zaman, Farjana

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Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) rates remain below the Healthy People 2030 Guidelines for infants at three months, six months, and 12 months in the United States of America. While over 84% of mother/infant dyads initiate breastfeeding at birth, by two weeks postpartum, only 33% are exclusively breastfeeding. Suboptimal breastfeeding in the U.S. is associated with increased maternal/infant morbidity and mortality. Although breastfeeding support has increased breastfeeding initiation, including infant formula early in life impacts infants in ways not completely understood. The purpose of this study was: 1) to analyze the effects of a novel educational perinatal intervention in East Texas that included teaching hand expression and expressing colostrum prenatally on the exclusivity of breastfeeding at hospital discharge; and 2) to investigate the impact of the educational interventions on breastfeeding rates for three months, six months, and 12 months postpartum periods. Descriptive statistics were used for selected variables. Cross-tabulation analysis was used to analyze categorical data to evaluate differences between those participants exclusively breastfeeding that received hand-expressing education or expressed colostrum prenatally. Differences were seen in breastfeeding behavior between those who received the novel education and those who did not. Exclusive use of human milk at hospital discharge was higher in those that received education prenatally. Infants that received prenatally expressed colostrum in the peripartum period had a higher rate of exclusive breastfeeding when mothers received hand expression education. Finally, mothers who received hand expression education had increased rates of EBF at three months, six months, and 12 months postpartum.


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breastfeeding education, colostrum expression, EBF, EBF practices, exclusive breastfeeding, hand expression education



Health and Kinesiology