Co-Parenting Impact on Breastfeeding: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Breastfeed Med. 2023 Jun;18(6):431-448. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2022.0237. Epub 2023 Jun 6.


Background: Although the beneficial effects of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) on infants and mothers have been identified, EBF rates remain unsatisfactory. Co-parenting interventions for perinatal couples have not been systematically evaluated and analyzed for their effects on breastfeeding outcomes. Aims and Objectives: To systematically evaluate the effects of co-parenting interventions on the rate of EBF, breastfeeding knowledge, breastfeeding attitude, breastfeeding self-efficacy, parental relationship, and partner support. Methods: Randomized controlled trials and quasi-experimental studies were systematically screened in eight online databases from inception to November 2022. Trials included in this review were assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias Assessment Tool. Eligible trials were used to conduct a meta-analysis using Review Manager software. The I2 statistic was used to assess heterogeneity between studies. When it was not possible to conduct a meta-analysis, a descriptive analysis was used to present the findings due to insufficient data from the included studies. Results: Fifteen of the 1,869 articles reviewed met the inclusion criteria. Co-parenting interventions significantly improved the EBF rate at 16 weeks (odds ratio [OR] = 3.85, 95% confidence interval, CI [1.84 to 8.03], p < 0.001, I2 = 69%) and 6 months (OR = 2.82, 95% CI [1.47 to 5.41], p = 0.002, I2 = 85%). This study revealed that co-parenting interventions made statistically significant improvements in parental relationship (standardized mean difference [SMD] = 0.26, 95% CI [0.13 to 0.38], p < 0.001, I2 = 80%). There was no evidence of the effectiveness of interventions in terms of overall parental support (SMD = 0.75, 95% CI [-0.46 to 1.97], p < 0.001, I2 = 96%). Given the discrepant and limited research data, findings on breastfeeding knowledge, breastfeeding attitudes, and breastfeeding self-efficacy were presented descriptively. Conclusion: Co-parenting interventions effectively increase EBF rates at 16 weeks and 6 months postpartum, and improve breastfeeding knowledge, breastfeeding attitude, and parental relationships.

Keywords: breastfeeding; co-parenting; meta-analysis; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Mothers
  • Parenting*
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Time Factors