Objective: Determine the impact of a 2-way text messaging intervention on time to contact between participants and their breastfeeding peer counselors (BFPCs) and on exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) status at 2 weeks and 3 months postpartum.
Design: Multisite, single-blind, randomized, controlled trial.
Setting: Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) BFPC program.
Participants: Low-income women (n = 174) participating in the WIC BFPC program.
Intervention: The control group received the standard of care WIC Loving Support BFPC program. The intervention group received standard of care plus the text messaging intervention.
Main outcome measures: Time to contact with BFPC and EBF status.
Analysis: The 2-sample t test or χ2 test assessed whether an association existed between study variables and each outcome. Multivariable ordinal and binary logistic regression assessed the impact of the intervention on time to contact and EBF status.
Results: Lactation Advice Through Texting Can Help had a significant impact on early contact between participants and BFPCs (odds ratio = 2.93; 95% confidence interval, 1.35-6.37) but did not have a significant impact on EBF (odds ratio = 1.26; 95% confidence interval, 0.54-2.66).
Conclusions and implications: Lactation Advice Through Texting Can Help has the potential to facilitate the work of BFPCs by shortening the time-to-first-contact with clients after giving birth. Research is needed to identify the level of breastfeeding support staff coverage that WIC clinics must have to meet the demand for services created by Lactation Advice Through Texting Can Help.
Keywords: WIC; breastfeeding; exclusive breastfeeding; mobile health; text messaging.
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