Prenatal breastfeeding education toolkit for baby-friendly hospitals
Olivo, Elizabeth Ann
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Studies suggest that approximately half of women do not meet their breastfeeding goal. The objectives of this study were to implement a prenatal breastfeeding education toolkit, assess prenatal breastfeeding goals, gauge breastfeeding goal attainment at 10 weeks postpartum, and evaluate patient variables that may impact goal attainment. The educational information was compiled into a toolkit and divided into three sections, one for each trimester. After completing at least one trimester of education, patients were then asked to fill out a survey on their breastfeeding goals. They were contacted by phone at approximately 10 weeks postpartum to assess how their breastfeeding was progressing and if they were still on track to meeting their goals. A total of 20 participants were included in data analysis. The reported goal duration of the whole cohort ranged from 16 weeks to two years with an average of approximately 50 weeks. The majority (75%) reported that they planned to breastfeed exclusively. At 10 weeks postpartum, 65% of subjects were on track to or had met their goal breastfeeding duration. Subsequently, 35% reported early cessation of breastfeeding prior to reaching their goal. Of the 15 participants who planned to breastfeed exclusively, only about half (53%) were still exclusively breastfeeding at the time of follow-up. Patients who planned to supplement with formula from an early stage were more than twice as likely (60%) to have early cessation of breastfeeding compared to those who planned to breastfeed exclusively (27%). The results of this study suggest that most women would like to breastfeed exclusively and for longer periods of time. Unfortunately, many continue to fall short of their goals. Planning to breastfeed exclusively appears to increase the mother's chance of reaching her goals at ten weeks postpartum. The literature has shown that prenatal education has a positive impact on breastfeeding rates. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, this study was unable to evaluate the impact of the entire prenatal breastfeeding education toolkit on breastfeeding goal attainment.