Document Type

Article

Publication details

Post-print of: Meedya, S, Fahy, K & Kable, A 2010, 'Factors that positively influence breastfeeding duration to 6 months: a literature review', Women and Birth, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 135-145.

Women and Birth home page available here

Publisher's version of article available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2010.02.002

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

Question

What modifiable factors positively influence breastfeeding duration to 6 months postpartum?

Aim

This question was posed in order to be able to develop a midwifery intervention aimed at prolonging breastfeeding.

Method

An online literature search was conducted in Medline, CINAHL, Maternity and Infant Care, and Cochrane Database of systematic reviews. The search strategy included the following keywords: breastfeeding, duration, initiation, cessation, factors, intervention, education, partner, intention, confidence, self-efficacy and support. Additional studies were located and extracted from online publications of New South Wales Department of Health, Australia. Bio-psycho-social factors that are positively associated with breastfeeding duration were identified.

Results

Modifiable factors that influence women's breastfeeding decisions are: breastfeeding intention, breastfeeding self-efficacy and social support. Existing midwifery breastfeeding promotion strategies often include social support but do not adequately address attempts to modify breastfeeding intention and self-efficacy.

Conclusion

The modifiable factors that are positively associated with breastfeeding duration are the woman's breastfeeding intention, her breastfeeding self-efficacy and her social support. Intervention studies to date have focussed on modifying these factors individually with variable results. No interventional studies have been conducted with the aim of positively modifying all three factors simultaneously.