Purpose: To examine the impact of various breastfeeding outcomes of three cohorts receiving different methods of prenatal breastfeeding education.
Methods: Retrospective cohort design with patients attending a breastfeeding education class at an Army medical center. Controls were matched for sponsor rank, marital status, and smoking status. One hundred ninety-four mothers who expressed intent to breastfeed received breastfeeding education as follows: (a) a class that used video demonstration and group teaching by a lactation consultant, (b) a new mothers' support group with one-on-one teaching prenatally and weekly meetings postpartum, taught by a lactation consultant and a pediatrician, and (c) a control group educated at prenatal visits only. Descriptive statistics, chi-square, ANOVA, unpaired t test, and logistic regression were used to analyze the data.
Results: Women who attended prenatal breastfeeding classes had significantly increased breastfeeding at 6 months when compared to controls (p = .01). There was no significant difference in rates between types of classes offered (p = .45).
Clinical implications: Prenatal breastfeeding education can influence the amount of time women breastfeed. All providers of prenatal care should consider offering such classes in order to improve breastfeeding rates.