Insufficient breast milk is a major reason why mothers give up breastfeeding and may be related to low levels of maternal confidence. This study explored the relationship between parenting self-efficacy (PES) and perception of insufficient breast milk.
Cross-sectional descriptive correlational study.
Four private primary care pediatric practices in the northern United States.
Sixty breastfeeding mothers of infants ages 1 to 11 weeks.
Mothers were recruited during well-baby pediatric visits. They returned completed questionnaires by mail. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, t tests, and multiple regression analysis.
Main Outcome Measure:
The Perception of Insufficient Milk (PIM) questionnaire, an investigator-developed instrument.
There was a significant correlation (r = .487, p < .01) between the self-efficacy and perceived insufficient milk scores. Regression analysis revealed that 23% of the variance in PIM was explained by PES, after maternal age, education, and parity had been taken into account.
Although further research is needed to refine the measurement of perceived insufficient milk and differentiate breastfeeding self-efficacy from general parenting self-efficacy, nursing interventions to enhance self-efficacy may improve mothers' confidence in the adequacy of their milk supply.