Purpose: The purpose of this scholarly project was to determine breastfeeding intention in a rural population after receiving education from a certified lactation consultant.
Review of the Literature: The benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child are clearly stated in the literature. Despite the known benefits, rates of breastfeeding are decreased within rural populations. Previous research suggests education about breastfeeding benefits is beneficial in increasing these rates. In particular, previous studies focused on the contributing factors affecting a mother’s decision to breast or formula feed. However, few studies were found strictly evaluating breastfeeding intention after receiving formal breastfeeding education in rural populations in the United States.
Methodology: A quasi-experimental one-group post-test only design was used with rural postpartum women admitted to a rural Labor and Delivery Unit. After receiving breastfeeding education from a certified lactation consultant, participants completed the Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale (IIFAS) to determine an individual’s likelihood to breastfeed. The higher the IIFAS score the more likely a woman is to breastfeed. The hypothesis of this project was breastfeeding intention in rural postpartum women will increase after breastfeeding education from a certified lactation consultant.
Results: Sixty-two percent of the participants indicated positive intent to breastfeeding as shown by IIFAS scores. Ultimately, 65% indicated positive breastfeeding intent postpartum. Fisher’s exact test and Pearson correlations test were used to analyze the significance between variables. Statistical significance was found between both participant’s father of the baby and participant’s mother’s breastfeeding support and intent to breastfeed.
Implications: Providers delivering prenatal care and lactation consultants could facilitate greater emphasis on breastfeeding education among fathers and maternal grandmothers of the infant to positively influence breastfeeding intent. The current project can be useful to providers of prenatal and postnatal care when considering how to effectively provide breastfeeding education to individuals in rural populations. Potentially, improved breastfeeding intention could lead to improved breastfeeding rates, which is a known health promoting behavior for mother and infant.
Scholarly Project Team Member
Nursing, School of
Health Sciences & Nursing, Gordon E. Inman College of
Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Breastfeeding; rural; education
Hawkins, Brooke, "Breastfeeding Intention within a Rural Postpartum Population: Does Education Matter?" (2016). DNP Scholarly Projects. 45.