Maternal Self-Confidence and Breastfeeding after Participating in a Program about Infant Prone Positioning

MCN Am J Matern Child Nurs. 2021 Jul-Aug 01;46(4):205-210. doi: 10.1097/NMC.0000000000000731.


Purpose: Maternal self-confidence facilitates infant growth and new mother role development. Infant ability to breastfeed and maternal breastfeeding self-confidence are imperative to helping mothers meet their breastfeeding goals. Consistent opportunity for infant movement in the prone position has been shown to improve breastfeeding ability; however, families report a lack of knowledge of how to safely support this activity. Perceptions of maternal self-confidence, infant development, and breastfeeding success upon completion of an infant prone positioning program with focus on posture, movement, and connection were studied.

Study design and methods: Qualitative interviews were conducted among breastfeeding mothers in three states to explore maternal perceptions of learning about infant prone positioning.

Results: Thirty-five mothers who completed an infant prone positioning program shared their perceptions of infant interaction, prone play and positioning, and breastfeeding self-confidence. Four primary themes were identified from the analysis: maternal knowledge and self-confidence; strategies and practices learned; breastfeeding benefits of infant prone positioning; and motivation for program participation.

Clinical implications: Our findings support consideration of teaching new mothers about prone positioning to enhance self-confidence in mothering, breastfeeding skills, infant development, and maternal-infant dyad bonding.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Feeding / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child Development
  • Educational Measurement
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Maternal Behavior / psychology*
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Mothers / education
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Prone Position
  • Self Concept