A randomized controlled trial was conducted in Canada to determine the most effective way of delivery breastfeeding information to parents. Women (113) and co-parents (104) were randomized into two study groups. Study Condition 1 received an eHealth resource and could review generally available resources, whereas Study Condition 2 received only generally available resources. Both study groups had high breastfeeding ‘exclusive’ breastfeeding rates at 26 weeks and ‘any’ breastfeeding rates at 52 weeks. This is the first study to include co-parents in both study groups and encourage them to work as a co-parenting team in meeting their breastfeeding goals which may have led to these high rates in both groups.
The parents were generally highly educated and married. All the parents had good access to other resources, such as websites and peer support. Both study groups used web based resources more often than other modes of breastfeeding information. The researchers recommend the use of on-line resources to support breastfeeding, targeting both mothers and fathers (or co-parents).
Although the study groups did not have a statistically significant difference in breastfeeding rates, there was a small statistically significant increase in breastfeeding knowledge and attitude in the prenatal period in the Study Condition 1 group that received the eHealth resource. Additionally, this group rated it highly, with those that used it indicating it was informative, interesting, useful, (according to about 90% of users). The on-line resource had 8 sections: (1) why breastfeed, (2) how to breastfeed, (3) the early days, (4) common concerns, (5) support mum/dad/partner, (6) where to get help, (7) everyday life, and (8) helpful links (See the revised version at breastfeedinginfo.ca). It also included information on how to work as a breastfeeding team, using the Breastfeeding Co-parenting Framework.
Abbass-Dick J, Sun W, Newport A, Xie F, Godfrey D & Goodman WM (2020), The comparison of access to an eHealth resource to current practice on mother and co-parent teamwork and breastfeeding rates: A randomized controlled trial, Midwifery 90
Header photo: Unsplash.