• breastfeeding;
  • self-efficacy;
  • South America

ABSTRACT Objectives: The purpose of this study was to translate and psychometrically assess the Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale (BSES) among women living in Fortaleza, CE, Brazil, and examine the relationship between breastfeeding self-efficacy (BSE) and maternal demographic variables.

Design and Sample: This methodological study is the first translation of BSES conducted in South America. The psychometric assessment of the original study was replicated. This methodological study enrolled a group (sample of judgment) of 117 pregnant women.

Measures: BSES and maternal sociodemographic variables were studied.

Results: The Cronbach's α coefficient for the translated BSES was .88. Significant differences in BSES scores were found among mothers with a previous satisfactory breastfeeding experience (M=145.81; SD=±6.82, p=.0001). Significant relationships were found among prenatal BSE and maternal age (r=.228; p=.01), educational level (r=.234; p=.01), and marital status (r=.183; p=.04). No relationship was found among BSE and maternal occupation, family income, or number of pregnancies.

Conclusions: Altogether, our findings suggest that BSES translated into Portuguese may be a reliable and valid measure to assess maternal BSE in Brazilian culture. Minor changes may be needed to use it in other Portuguese-speaking countries, such as Portugal and Mozambique.