Comparing the Effect of Peer Support and the Education of Health Care Providers on Breastfeeding Initiation Time among Primiparous Women in Mashhad

Document Type : Original Article


1 M.Sc. of Midwifery, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 M.Sc. of Midwifery, Vice Chancellor of Health, Zahedan University of Medical sciences, Zahedan, Iran.

3 Associate Professor of Neonatology, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

4 M.Sc. of Biostatistics, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical sciences, Mashhad, Iran.


Introduction: Breastfeeding initiation time has a significant effect on lactation performance. Breastfeeding initiation within a half-hour of birth and exclusive breastfeeding are important strategies to reduce neonatal morbidity and mortality. Different factors such as psychosocial support and received education affect breastfeeding initiation time. Therefore, hospital-based and community-based strategies are recommended for early breastfeeding initiation. So far, no study has been conducted to compare these two methods. Therefore, this study has been performed to compare the effect of peer support (community-based) and the education received by health care providers (Hospital-based) on the time of breastfeeding initiation among primiparous women.
Methods: This clinical trial was performed on 3-group with 105 primigravida women participants. 16 health care centers were selected via cluster selection method and then were allocated randomly into 3 different groups: peer support receivers, education receiver by health care provider and control group. 16 eligible volunteers were selected as peer support receivers and trained for 15 hours. 7 women were selected as education receivers by health care providers and were trained for 2 hours. For peer support receivers, a single peer support was received by peer support providers, and educational group participants received one individual training session in 36-38 weeks of pregnancy by health care provider. The control group received only routine care. Data were collected by a questionnaire and were analyzed by SPSS software version 11.5. Kruskal-Wallis and Fisher’s Exact tests were used to analyze data.
Results: Only 20% of peer support receivers, 14.7% of education receivers (by health care providers) and 19.4% of control group members initiate breastfeeding within the half-hour of delivery. 51.4% of peer support receivers, 61.8% of education receivers and 55.6% of control group member began their first breastfeeding within the period of 1- 24 hours after delivery. There were no significant difference at the time of breastfeeding initiation among three groups (p=0.852).
Conclusion: The present study did not provide any evidence in terms of impact of peer support and education received by health care providers on the time of breastfeeding initiation; Whereas, some studies have shown positive effect of peer support during labor on breastfeeding initiation time. So, it seems that further study regarding effect of peer support during labor and effect of medication during labor may be needed.


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