The Effects of a Peer-Counseling Program on Increase Rate and Continuity of Lactation in Tehran Nursing Mothers
AbstractObjective: The practice of breastfeeding is considered a blessing since its effects on health are well recognized and applies to both mothers and infants. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of peer support and training on breastfeeding initiation, duration and exclusivity.Materials and methods: This community-based clinical trial, (IRCT No: 201504049568N12), was conducted during 2015 in the Municipality of Tehran 19 District. First, a total of 150 mothers with their infants from 4 to 20 months of age were asked to complete a questionnaire, which included the demographic characteristics, educational level, and the type of lactation, the initial age of infant for breastfeeding, and the duration of exclusive breastfeeding. Afterwards, 25 volunteer women were selected for lactation counseling. After 6 months, another sample of 116 nursing mothers in the region who had received peer counseling was selected and questioned through the previously mentioned questionnaire. Finally, the results, which were collected from the behavior of the target population before and after the intervention, were compared.Results: The results of the present study indicated that the nursing mothers who received peer counseling proved to have longer durations of breastfeeding (P-value = 0.039), and higher frequency of first hour initiation of breastfeeding (P-value = 0.003) however, the volunteer counselors were mainly housewives who had lower levels of education (P-value = 0.009) and were younger (P-value = 0.009) than those of untrained control group.Conclusion: The study demonstrated the significant effect of peer counseling on breastfeeding initiation and continuation. It is suggested that lactation training could be initiated during the prenatal period along with the conventional methods of training.
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