Aim: to document the process of implementing and maintaining a community-based peer-support programme.
Design and setting: a community-based study located in a socio-economically disadvantaged housing estate on the outskirts of Glasgow.
Participants: pregnant women residing in a target postcode area.
Intervention: a programme of peer counselling and support for breast feeding, comprising antenatal and postnatal home visits over a period of three years.
Implications for practice: peer support may provide an acceptable and appropriate role model for breast-feeding mothers. However, further research is required on other influential factors such as the social network and the impact of this programme on the peer supporter.
Conclusions: despite a low prevalence of breast feeding, initiating and maintaining peer breast-feeding support was possible. Peer support appeared to be acceptable to mothers and health professionals. Study mothers spoke enthusiastically of the intervention and mentioned increased confidence and self-esteem.