Peer-led prenatal breast-feeding education: a viable alternative to nurse-led education.Midwifery. 2012 Feb; 28(1):73-9.M
To evaluate a prenatal breast-feeding class developed and facilitated by peer Breast-feeding Buddies.
DESIGN AND INTERVENTIONS
Non-equivalent control group quasi-experimental study comparing participants of the peer-led class (PLC) to those attending an established hospital-based breast-feeding nurse-led class (NLC). A brief questionnaire was completed immediately prior to the class, and telephone interviews were conducted approximately one week following the class, and one and six months post partum.
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS
54 expectant mothers who registered for the community PLC and 55 expectant mothers who registered for the NLC.
MEASUREMENTS AND FINDINGS
Breast-feeding intentions were measured at all time-points. Class evaluations, breast-feeding experiences, and breast-feeding support were measured at all post-class interviews. Both classes were considered worthwhile, but the PLC class was rated as more helpful and participants appreciated learning from the peers' personal experiences. Mothers taught by peers were more likely to access peer breast-feeding support. PLC participants initially decreased their prenatal breast-feeding duration intentions but had significantly stronger intentions to continue breast feeding at six months than did NLC mothers.
A peer-led prenatal breast-feeding class is as effective as a traditional model of breast-feeding education and is a valuable tool to promote and support successful breast feeding. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Peer-led breast-feeding classes should be provided to enhance the accessibility of breast-feeding education and support for expectant mothers.