Effects of the experience of breastfeeding-friendly practices and breastfeeding intention and self-efficacy on breastfeeding behavior: a cohort study in Taiwan

Yu Wen Wang, Ying Ju Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Approximately 80% of births in Taiwan occurred in Baby-Friendly accredited facilities, although the trend of exclusively breastfeeding infants until 6 months of age has stagnated in the last ten years. To guide breastfeeding promotion interventions during postnatal stays and encourage mothers to continue breastfeeding for the first 6 months, factors associated with breastfeeding behaviors to 6 months post-delivery must be investigated. This study explored the relationships among breastfeeding intention, experience of breastfeeding-friendly practices, breastfeeding self-efficacy, and breastfeeding behavior at four and 6 months after childbirth. Methods: In this longitudinal cohort study, women who gave birth to healthy newborns at two Baby-Friendly hospitals in Taiwan and who had initiated breastfeeding were recruited two to 4 days after giving birth. Data were collected three to 5 days after childbirth during hospitalization and at one, two, four, and 6 months after childbirth using a self-developed questionnaire to measure breastfeeding intention and the experience of breastfeeding-friendly practices, and the traditional Chinese version of the Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale-Short Form to measure self-efficacy. Results: A total of 155 women completed the questionnaires five times within 6 months. The determinants of exclusive breastfeeding at 4 months and any breastfeeding at 6 months were the intention to breastfeed for over 6 months; a higher score for the experience of breastfeeding-friendly practices; and a higher level of breastfeeding self-efficacy during that period. The experience of breastfeeding-friendly practices during hospitalization did not predict breastfeeding behavior at 4 and 6 months. Intending to breastfeed for less than 4 months and lower breastfeeding self-efficacy during the hospital stay were both associated with shorter breastfeeding durations of less than 6 months after childbirth. Conclusions: Longer intended duration of breastfeeding, sustaining breastfeeding-friendly practices after discharge, and maintenance of a higher level of breastfeeding self-efficacy were the determinants of breastfeeding at 4 and 6 months. Healthcare professionals in Taiwan must support breastfeeding-friendly practices and consider interactive interventions to promote continued breastfeeding at different stages during the first 6 months after childbirth on the basis of the mother’s breastfeeding plan and breastfeeding self-efficacy during their postnatal hospitalization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
JournalInternational Breastfeeding Journal
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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