Breastfeeding attitudes, intention and initiation in low-income women: The effect of the "Best Start" program
A 2x2 repeated measures, one experimental, one control group, and pretest, posttest design was employed to provide the structure for the testing of three hypotheses. These hypotheses were related to increasing positive breastfeeding attitudes, decreasing negative breastfeeding attitudes, increasing social support, breastfeeding control, intention to breastfeed and initiation of breastfeeding following implementation of the “Best Start” breastfeeding educational program. A convenience sample of 54 subjects was randomly assigned to two groups: 28 in the control group and 26 in the experimental group.
This study compared breastfeeding attitudes, intention and initiation among low-income women exposed or not exposed to the “Best Start” educational program. Using the Breastfeeding Attrition Prediction Tool (BAPT), statistically significant group differences were found for the “negative breastfeeding sentiment”, “positive breastfeeding sentiment”, and “breastfeeding control” scales. The experimental group was found to have significantly increased “positive breastfeeding sentiment”, significantly decreased “negative breastfeeding sentiment”, and significantly increased “breastfeeding control” scores. No significant group differences were noted for the “social and professional support” scale. A statistically significant increase in breastfeeding intentions was found among the experimental group following exposure to the “Best Start” program. There was a significant increase in breastfeeding initiation among the experimental group following exposure to the “Best Start” program.
The results indicate that the “Best Start” educational program appears to be a highly effective method to improve breastfeeding attitudes, to increase perceived breastfeeding control, intention to breastfeed and initiation of breastfeeding behavior in this study. For this study the “Best Start” educational program did not effect the Social and Professional Support for breastfeeding. Since there was no contact with the subjects' social support network during the intervention, this finding was not surprising.