Analysis of YouTube© Videos Regarding Breastfeeding During the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic

Matern Child Health J. 2023 Sep;27(9):1548-1558. doi: 10.1007/s10995-023-03722-4. Epub 2023 May 31.


Introduction: During the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, which has significantly impacted public health, it is crucial to raise awareness and access to accurate information about breastfeeding for healthy growth and development. This descriptive study aimed to evaluate the content, reliability, and quality of YouTube videos on COVID-19 and breastfeeding.

Methods: The YouTube platform was searched for the English keywords "COVID-19" and "breastfeeding" in March 2021. A total of 325 videos were reached. Two independent researchers analyzed the content of 43 videos that met the inclusion criteria. The content quality of the videos was evaluated using the COVID-19 and Breastfeeding Score, which was prepared by researchers in line with international guidelines, the reliability of the videos was analyzed using the DISCERN, and the content quality was evaluated using the Global Quality Score (GQS).

Results: The majority (72.1%) of the 43 videos included in the study were informative. In terms of the video origins, most had been uploaded in the U.S., and most had been created by news agencies or physicians. Using the DISCERN tool, 32.6% of videos scored 5 points, and 37.2% of videos scored five points using the GQS tool. Videos grouped as informative scored significantly higher than those grouped as misleading. The GQSs for the videos featuring parents were significantly lower than those for the videos featuring physicians or other healthcare professionals.

Discussion: During the COVID-19 pandemic, YouTube videos served as an essential and easily accessible source of information about breastfeeding for mothers concerned about various aspects of the disease. This study showed that videos on breastfeeding and COVID-19 have high view rates but low quality and low reliability.

Keywords: Breastfeeding; COVID-19; Pandemic; Video; YouTube.

Plain language summary

What is currently known? The YouTube platform has been a significant source of misleading information during public health crises, including the H1N1, Ebola, and Zika outbreaks. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many women used YouTube videos to search for information about breastfeeding.What does this article add? YouTube videos about breastfeeding and COVID-19 have high views. However, these also include videos that are low in quality and reliability. The information content of YouTube videos needs to be improved and standardized before the videos can be considered a reliable source of information about COVID-19 and its effects on breastfeeding.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination
  • Pandemics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Social Media*