Incorporating breastfeeding education into prenatal care

Breastfeed Med. 2015 Mar;10(2):118-23. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2014.0034. Epub 2015 Jan 7.


Introduction: Prenatal breastfeeding education increases breastfeeding initiation, exclusivity, and duration. Current research regarding antenatal breastfeeding education suggests that recurrent, individual, and technology-based education programs are effective in providing women with evidence-based breastfeeding information and guidance.

Materials and methods: This project was implemented at an obstetrical practice in the northeast United States. Pregnant women between 32 weeks of gestation and birth, receiving care from certified nurse-midwives, were the targeted population. Three breastfeeding modules were created and offered to women at the 32-, 34-, and 36-week prenatal visit via computer tablets. Women answered questionnaires at the end of each module, serving as a measure for participation and content learning. Women also completed a questionnaire at the 6-week postpartum visit to assess summative perceptions.

Results: Twenty-three women participated, and 21 women completed questionnaires at 6 weeks postpartum. All women answered the content questions at the end of the modules correctly. Sixty-seven percent reported prior breastfeeding experience, 95% initiated breastfeeding, 86% were exclusively breastfeeding at 6 weeks postpartum, and 71% of the women planned to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months. Sixty-seven percent reported the modules promoted or affirmed their decision to breastfeed, whereas 5% would have preferred group-based education. Providers documented breastfeeding education 52% of the time.

Conclusions: The results of this project indicate that women successfully learned breastfeeding content via the tablet methodology. The results confirm that prenatal breastfeeding education, in the office setting, is well accepted by women. In order to assess the impact of the program on breastfeeding success, further study is needed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Feeding / psychology*
  • Breast Feeding / statistics & numerical data
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Mothers / statistics & numerical data
  • New England
  • Nurse Midwives
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Postpartum Period / psychology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care* / methods
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires