Effectiveness of Exclusive breastfeeding promotion in low-income mothers: A randomized controlled study

Anna Petrova, Charletta Ayers, Sharon Stechna, Jo Ann Gerling, Rajeev Mehta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of a breastfeeding promotion program in the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Program participants. Study design: This randomized clinical trial included 52 women in the intervention group who received one-to-one pre- and postnatal breastfeeding education and support from a lactation consultant. Women (n = 52) randomized to controls received standard breastfeeding services. Data regarding their infants' feeding (classified as exclusive, partial, and bottle) during the first 7 days, 1, 2, and 3 months of age were compared. Additionally, the mothers were surveyed to assess their knowledge, attitude, and beliefs regarding breastfeeding. Results: Among the 104 enrolled women, 91 (87.5) were Hispanic. Almost all the pregnant women had planned to breastfeed their infants. Although the majority of women reported breastfeeding their infants, 45.6 in the intervention group and 28.9 of controls practiced exclusive breastfeeding during the first 7 days. By 3 months, the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the intervention and control groups had dropped to 13.9 and 10.5, respectively. Parity, mode of delivery, previous experience with breastfeeding, rooming in, and return to work did not significantly affect the exclusive breastfeeding rate. Maternal knowledge, attitude, and beliefs regarding breastfeeding were comparable between the study groups at the baseline stage as well as 3 months postpartum. Conclusions: Participation in the proposed breastfeeding promotion program by the low-income mothers was associated with an insignificant increase in the exclusive breastfeeding rate during the first 3 postpartum months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-69
Number of pages7
JournalBreastfeeding Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Health Policy
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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