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Training peer counselors in supporting mothers of term, low birth weight infants to exclusively breastfeed
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health.
2005 (English)In: Asia Pacific Family Medicine, ISSN 1447-056X, Vol. 4, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim:      This article describes a locally developed, two-tiered program of counseling training, aimed at supporting mothers of term, low birth weight infants to exclusively breastfeed from birth to 6 months. Methods:      An invitation to attend a mother–child health seminar was sent to 13 health centers in Metropolitan Manila. Level One training consisted of a three-day seminar on postpartum mother–child care conducted by the health staff of the Philippine General Hospital. Level Two of the training, conducted by a certified breastfeeding counselor, consisted of a 40-hour instructional program which used interactive didactics and practical skill workshops which taught the counselors how to prevent and manage breastfeeding problems. Result:      Thirty of 37 (81%) women passed Level One training. Fourteen of these 30 women (46.7%) decided to proceed to Level Two training. Eight of the 14 women who had the longest breastfeeding experience were chosen to undergo the Level Two training. All eight women completed the training. Six of the eight (75%) had satisfactory post-training assessment; the remaining two were re-trained and were subsequently assessed to be fit for counseling work. An assessment of post-training competencies showed that counseling knowledge and skills were improved by the training. Further, the intervention demonstrated a 56.6% exclusive breastfeeding rate at six months compared to the national prevalence rate of 1.4%. Conclusion:      This training program has increased breastfeeding counseling knowledge as established by increased correct breastfeeding information and appropriate counseling skills observed after the women completed the training.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 4, no 1
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-93830OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-93830DiVA: diva2:167436
Available from: 2005-11-22 Created: 2005-11-22 Last updated: 2013-03-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Postnatal Peer Counseling on Exclusive Breastfeeding of Low-birthweight Filipino Infants: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Postnatal Peer Counseling on Exclusive Breastfeeding of Low-birthweight Filipino Infants: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In a Manila hospital, 204 mothers were randomized into three groups: two intervention groups receiving home-based counseling visits, one of them (n=68) by counselors trained to use a locally developed, two-tiered program of breastfeeding counseling, and the other by counselors trained in general childcare (n=67), were compared with a control group of mothers (n=69) who did not receive any counseling. All infants were scheduled for seven visits to the hospital for follow-up. During hospital visits, maternal and infant body measurements were made and an independent interviewer asked the mothers individually to recall how the infant had been fed. One study physician, blind to participant groups, was consulted at all scheduled and unscheduled infant visits.

At six months, 44% of the breastfeeding-counseled mothers, 7% of the childcare-counseled mothers and none of the mothers in the control group were exclusively breastfeeding. Twenty- four mothers breastfed exclusively during the first six months, of whom 22 received breastfeeding counseling and 2 had no breastfeeding counseling. Among 24 infants who were exclusively breastfed from birth to six months there were no episodes of diarrhea. All infants had gained in weight, length and head circumference. Mean maternal weight loss at six months was similar whether her breastfeeding was exclusive or partial.

The reasons why mothers without breastfeeding counseling introduced non-breast milk feeding before six months reflected lack of knowledge and support. Breastfeeding support during the first six months focusing on how to prevent and solve breastfeeding problems, particularly during the first two weeks, will enable mothers to choose to breastfeed exclusively up to six months.

This study has provided fundamental evidence of successful intervention by breastfeeding counseling to achieve six months of exclusive breastfeeding among term, low-birthweight infants. The locally developed training program in breastfeeding counseling, which successfully prepared volunteers to counsel mothers at home, could be incorporated into primary health care in the Philippines. Mothers who received breastfeeding counseling appreciated how this helped them to achieve their breastfeeding goals for the first six months. Improved breastfeeding practices as a result of breastfeeding counseling provided infants with protection from diarrhea and respiratory infections, contributing to their health and development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2005. 50 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 92
Pediatrics, exclusive breastfeeding, RCT, peer counseling, LBW, Manila, Pediatrik
National Category
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-6198 (URN)91-554-6418-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2005-12-13, Rosénsalen, Akademiska barnsjukhuset, Akademiska sjukhuset, ing 95, NBV, Uppsala, 09:15
Available from: 2005-11-22 Created: 2005-11-22Bibliographically approved

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