Breastfeeding: Assessment of Maternal Breastfeeding Knowledge and Skills During Pregnancy and 1st/2nd Week After Childbirth

Friday, 26 July 2013: 8:50 AM

Alexandrina Cardoso, PhD, MNs, RM, RN
Porto School of Nursing, Porto School of Nursing, Porto, Portugal

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to identify the main issues that represents breastfeeding learning needs.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to identify the issues in which portuguese mothers(562 pregnant and 159 postpartum mothers)revealed knowledge and skill deficit.

Purpose: To build a mother’s breastfeeding knowledge and skills assessment instrument; to characterize mothers’ breastfeeding knowledge and skills during pregnancy and 1st/2nd week after childbirth; and to describe the profile of mothers who revealed higher level of knowledge and skills.

Methods: The study was developed in two phases. In the first phase was used the interview (and the literature review as data collection to identify mothers learning needs to breastfeeding her baby (qualitative approach). In the second phase was used the assessment instrument built in the previous phase to characterize maternal knowledge and skills (quantitative nature). Prenatal wards in three health centers and a hospital in North of Portugal. Content analysis was used in the first phase. In the 2nd phase was used the assessment maternal breastfeeding knowledge and skills instrument. 

Results: Mothers revealed a significant lack of knowledge during pregnancy in several contents related to breastfeeding. Concerning the skills, mothers revealed better level than the observed in knowledge. However there are a relevant number of mothers that still need support to develop knowledge and skills for effective breastfeeding. The mothers that demonstrated better level of knowledge were the oldest, with higher education and those who already had other children and previous experience in breastfeeding. Also the mothers who referred nurses-midwifes as a source of information and attended preparation to childbirth and parenting classes demonstrated higher breastfeeding knowledge level.  

 Conclusion: The assessment of mothers’ breastfeeding knowledge and skills is an indispensable contribution to systematize midwifery care and to promote the maternal learning process for an effective breastfeeding.