Aim: The duration of exclusive breastfeeding is affected by maternal confidence and perception of milk supply, but objective measurement of milk supply is rarely used. Mothers of preterm infants have found measuring milk supply by in-home test weighing to be helpful to ascertain their infants' breastfeeding intake. This study aimed to determine if this technique affects breastfeeding confidence of mothers of term infants.
Materials and methods: Participants filled in a survey of their breastfeeding confidence and perceptions of breastfeeding behavior prior to and after a 24-hour period of recording the times of feeds, amounts of each breastfeed or bottle feed (expressed breastmilk or formula), and amounts of breastmilk expressed.
Results: The breastfeeding confidence of at least 66% of mothers who were initially confident was maintained, and the breastfeeding confidence of at least 11% of mothers who were initially not confident was improved after objective measurement of milk supply and breastfeeding behavior.
Conclusions: Measurement of actual milk supply and breastfeeding behavior provides objective information that can guide clinicians in the management of lactation. It can also help to maintain or improve breastfeeding confidence.