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Strategies to support breastfeeding: a review


  • Conflict of interest: No conflict of interest.

Basak Demirtas, Ankara Üniversitesi Sağlık Bilimleri Fakültesi, Hemşirelik Bölümü, Şükriye mahallesi Plevne caddesi Aktaş Kavşağı No:5, Ankara Hastanesi Acil Yanı, 06340 Altındağ, Ankara, Turkey; Tel: +9-(0)-312-319-14-50/1162; Fax: +9-(0)-312-319-70-16; E-mail:


DEMİRTAS B. (2012) Strategies to support breastfeeding: a review. International Nursing Review

Background:  Mothers need to be given support, confidence and encouragement to successful breastfeeding. The importance of breastfeeding support has been addressed in numerous studies. However, reviews to explore strategies to support breastfeeding are sparse.

Aim:  The study aims to explore strategies to support breastfeeding. It was also aimed to reveal how the international papers compare with the Turkish situation.

Methods:  Searches of CINAHL, PubMed, ScienceDirect, Scopus, Web of Science databases, Cochrane databases, Turkish health databases were conducted for data collection. The search was limited to articles published between the years 1995 and 2011, focusing on the strategies related to the support received by mothers. Two experts independently read and analysed 38 articles.

Findings:  Thirty-eight papers were included in this review. The findings identified strategies to support breastfeeding. These include collaboration with community and family members; confidence building; appropriate ratio of staffing levels; development of communication skills; and ‘closing the gap’ in inequalities in health.

Conclusion:  Mothers benefit from strategies that encourage breastfeeding, with guidance that supports their self-efficacy and feelings of being capable and empowered, and is tailored to their individual needs.