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Effect of Maternal Confidence on Breastfeeding Duration: An Application of Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Theory

Authors

  • Rosemary Blyth BN, MMid(Hons),

    1. Rosemary Blyth is Nurse Researcher at Royal Women's Hospital, Brisbane; Debra Creedy is Professor of Nursing & Health and Wendy Moyle is Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Practice Innovation in Nursing & Midwifery, Griffith University, Brisbane; Jan Pratt is Nursing Director of Primary Care Program and Susan De Vries is Nurse Researcher in the Community Child Health Service at Royal Children's Hospital Health District, Brisbane, Australia; and Cindy-Lee Dennis is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
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  • Debra K. Creedy RN, PhD,

    1. Rosemary Blyth is Nurse Researcher at Royal Women's Hospital, Brisbane; Debra Creedy is Professor of Nursing & Health and Wendy Moyle is Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Practice Innovation in Nursing & Midwifery, Griffith University, Brisbane; Jan Pratt is Nursing Director of Primary Care Program and Susan De Vries is Nurse Researcher in the Community Child Health Service at Royal Children's Hospital Health District, Brisbane, Australia; and Cindy-Lee Dennis is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
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  • Cindy-Lee Dennis RN, PhD,

    1. Rosemary Blyth is Nurse Researcher at Royal Women's Hospital, Brisbane; Debra Creedy is Professor of Nursing & Health and Wendy Moyle is Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Practice Innovation in Nursing & Midwifery, Griffith University, Brisbane; Jan Pratt is Nursing Director of Primary Care Program and Susan De Vries is Nurse Researcher in the Community Child Health Service at Royal Children's Hospital Health District, Brisbane, Australia; and Cindy-Lee Dennis is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
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  • Wendy Moyle RN, PhD,

    1. Rosemary Blyth is Nurse Researcher at Royal Women's Hospital, Brisbane; Debra Creedy is Professor of Nursing & Health and Wendy Moyle is Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Practice Innovation in Nursing & Midwifery, Griffith University, Brisbane; Jan Pratt is Nursing Director of Primary Care Program and Susan De Vries is Nurse Researcher in the Community Child Health Service at Royal Children's Hospital Health District, Brisbane, Australia; and Cindy-Lee Dennis is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
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  • Jan Pratt RN, MHlthSc,

    1. Rosemary Blyth is Nurse Researcher at Royal Women's Hospital, Brisbane; Debra Creedy is Professor of Nursing & Health and Wendy Moyle is Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Practice Innovation in Nursing & Midwifery, Griffith University, Brisbane; Jan Pratt is Nursing Director of Primary Care Program and Susan De Vries is Nurse Researcher in the Community Child Health Service at Royal Children's Hospital Health District, Brisbane, Australia; and Cindy-Lee Dennis is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
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  • Susan M. De Vries RN, MPH

    1. Rosemary Blyth is Nurse Researcher at Royal Women's Hospital, Brisbane; Debra Creedy is Professor of Nursing & Health and Wendy Moyle is Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Practice Innovation in Nursing & Midwifery, Griffith University, Brisbane; Jan Pratt is Nursing Director of Primary Care Program and Susan De Vries is Nurse Researcher in the Community Child Health Service at Royal Children's Hospital Health District, Brisbane, Australia; and Cindy-Lee Dennis is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
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Address correspondence to Debra Creedy, Faculty of Nursing, 8 Health, Griffith University, Kessels Road, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 4111.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Background: Although much research has focused on identifying factors that influence breastfeeding initiation and duration, many high-risk factors are nonmodifiable demographic variables. Predisposing factors for low breastfeeding duration rates that are amenable to supportive interventions should be identified. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of maternal confidence (breastfeeding self-efficacy) on breastfeeding duration.

Method: A prospective survey was conducted with 300 women in the last trimester of pregnancy recruited from the antenatal clinic of a large metropolitan hospital in Brisbane, Australia. Telephone interviews were conducted at 1week and 4 months postpartum to assess infant feeding methods and breastfeeding confidence using the Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale.

Results: Although 92 percent of participants initiated breastfeeding, by 4 months postpartum almost 40 percent of mothers discontinued and only 28.6 percent were breastfeeding exclusively; the most common reason for discontinuation was insufficient milk supply. Antenatal and 1-week Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale scores were significantly related to breastfeeding outcomes at 1 week and 4 months. Mothers with high breastfeeding self-efficacy were significantly more likely to be breastfeeding, and doing so exclusively, at 1 week and 4 months postpartum than mothers with low breastfeeding self-efficacy.

Conclusions: Maternal breastfeeding self-efficacy is a significant predictor of breastfeeding duration and level. Integrating self-efficacy enhancing strategies may improve the quality of care that health care professionals deliver and may increase a new mother's confidence in her ability to breastfeed, and to persevere if she does encounter difficulties. (BIRTH 29:4 December 2002)

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