1. Women who received a two-part intervention were less likely to stop breastfeeding within the 6-month postpartum period.
2. On average, mothers in the intervention group breastfed for longer than mothers in the control group.
Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)
Study Rundown: This study found that Latina and black women receiving a two-part educational intervention breastfed for a longer period of time. Past studies have identified racial disparities in breastfeeding and identified some of its behavioral determinants. The present work presents a simple, culturally tailored intervention that can be employed in other settings to enhance breastfeeding rates and duration.
Strengths include a randomized design and assessment of amount of breastfeeding (e.g. exclusive). Limitations of the study include recall bias and potential confounders, including differences in support systems and differences in employment status. While breastfeeding support from healthcare providers, partners, family and friends were comparable across the two groups, this study provides limited insight into the content and quality of that support. Future work might include a qualitative component, particularly with regard to difficulties encountered by women and the reason why breastfeeding was discontinued.
In-Depth [randomized controlled trial]: This study evaluated the impact of a two-part intervention on breastfeeding duration among black and Latina women delivering at a tertiary hospital between 2009 and 2010. Eligible women were randomized to the two-part intervention: an in-hospital educational session, social support and a 2-week follow-up call (n=270), or the control: a list of community resources and a control call at 2-weeks (n=270). The outcome of interest was breastfeeding duration in the 6-month postpartum period.
Mothers receiving the intervention were less likely to stop breastfeeding (HR 0.79, CI 0.65-0.97) and on average, breastfed their infants for a longer period of time (12.0 vs. 6.5 weeks, p=0.02). However, rates of exclusive breastfeeding were no different between the two groups at 6 months post-partum.
By Denise Pong, MPH and Leah Hawkins, MD, MPH
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