Success of an educational intervention on maternal/newborn nurses' breastfeeding knowledge and attitudes

J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2010 Nov-Dec;39(6):658-66. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2010.01184.x. Epub 2010 Oct 12.


Objective: To test the effect of a breastfeeding educational program for improving breastfeeding knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of maternal/newborn nurses, and to improve their intentions to provide breastfeeding support to new mothers.

Design: Quasi-experimental, pretest/posttest design.

Setting: Maternity units of 13 hospitals located in midwestern and east coast states.

Participants: Nine experimental and three control hospital sites resulted in a convenience sample size of 240 registered nurses (RNs); 206 RNs in the experimental sites and 34 RNs in the control sites.

Methods: Participation in the experimental groups involved the completion of two questionnaires upon study entry and then again after completion of a self-study module. Participants in the control groups completed the two questionnaires twice with a 4- to 6-week interval between them without access to the self-study module.

Main outcome measures: Nurses' breastfeeding knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and intentions to support postpartum mothers who are breastfeeding.

Results: Findings suggest that this educational strategy was effective in improving maternal/newborn nurses' breastfeeding knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs, and intentions to support breastfeeding mothers.

Conclusion: This self-paced, study module, which is guided by an on-site, trained staff member, may be a cost-effective strategy for improving nurses' breastfeeding knowledge and support to new breastfeeding mothers. Nurses may find this type of teaching modality to be less intimidating than a structured classroom setting, and more desirable for their busy schedules.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding*
  • Education, Nursing, Continuing / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Infant Care
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal-Child Nursing / education*
  • Maternal-Child Nursing / methods
  • Midwestern United States
  • Mothers / education
  • Nurse's Role*
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nursing Education Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / education*
  • Pregnancy
  • Program Evaluation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires