The impact of breastfeeding peer support for mothers aged under 25: a time series analysis

Scott, Sarah and Pritchard, Catherine and Szatkowski, Lisa (2016) The impact of breastfeeding peer support for mothers aged under 25: a time series analysis. Maternal and Child Nutrition . ISSN 1740-8709

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Breastfeeding is known to have positive health benefits for babies and mothers, yet the UK has one of the lowest breastfeeding initiation rates in Europe. Despite national guidance that recommends provision of breastfeeding peer support, there is conflicting evidence regarding its effectiveness, especially in high income countries, and a lack of evidence amongst young mothers. This study evaluates the effectiveness of a breastfeeding peer support service (BPSS) in one UK city in increasing breastfeeding initiation and duration in young mothers. Routinely-collected data were obtained on feeding method at birth, two and six weeks for all 5,790 women aged <25 registered with a local general practitioner and who gave birth from April 2009 to September 2013. Segmented regression was used to quantify the impact of the introduction of the BPSS in September 2012 on the prevalence of breastfeeding at birth, two and six weeks, accounting for underlying trends. Results showed that breastfeeding prevalence at birth and two weeks began to increase month-on-month after the introduction of the BPSS, where previously figures had been static; prevalence at birth increased by 0.55 percentage points per month (95%CI 0.10-1.00, p=0.018) and at two weeks by 0.50 percentage points (95%CI 0.15-0.86, p=0.007). There was no change from an underlying marginally increasing trend in prevalence at six weeks. In conclusion, our findings suggest that a one-to-one breastfeeding peer support service provided by paid peer supporters and targeted at young mothers in the antenatal and postnatal periods may be beneficial in increasing breastfeeding initiation and prevalence at two weeks.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: "This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Scott, S., Pritchard, C., and Szatkowski, L. (2016) The impact of breastfeeding peer support for mothers aged under 25: a time series analysis. Maternal & Child Nutrition, doi: 10.1111/mcn.12241, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Epidemiology and Public Health
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Pritchard, Catherine
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2016 11:11
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2016 05:48

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