Objectives: To pilot test a newly developed breastfeeding self-efficacy intervention.
Design: Pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT).
Setting: An acute care hospital located in Northwestern Ontario that is the sole provider of maternity care for the city and referral center for the region.
Participants: One-hundred-and-fifty primiparous women intending to breastfeed their healthy, term, singleton infant.
Intervention: A standardized, individualized nursing intervention protocol was designed and administered to increase mothers' breastfeeding self-efficacy. Participants were randomly allocated to the intervention group or control group using sealed, opaque envelopes. Participants in the intervention group received three individualized, self-efficacy enhancing sessions with the researcher: two in-hospital and one by telephone. Participants in the control group received standard in-hospital and community care.
Main Outcome Measures: Feasibility, compliance, and the acceptability of the breastfeeding self-efficacy intervention. Other outcomes assessed were breastfeeding self-efficacy, duration, and exclusivity.
Results: Findings suggest that the intervention was feasible; there was a high degree of protocol compliance, and the majority of mothers reported that the intervention was beneficial. Mothers in the intervention group had higher rates of breastfeeding self-efficacy, duration, and exclusivity at 4 and 8 weeks postpartum. However, the differences between groups were not statistically significant.
Conclusion: The pilot RCT provided valuable information in examining the feasibility of the trial design and intervention.