Peer support for breastfeeding
- This research assessed the effectiveness of a peer support worker (PSW) service on breastfeeding continuation through a cluster randomised controlled trial. The PSW service was provided in pregnancy to increase initiation and in the postnatal period to increase continuation.
- The research took place in a Primary Care Trust in Birmingham which serves a multi-ethnic, socioeconomically disadvantaged population. In this setting the breastfeeding initiation rate was 58% in 2005, with continuation rates poorly collected but thought to be lower than the national average.
- 2724 women who had antenatal care at 66 clinics participated in the trial. 1267 women were randomised to the PSW service and 1457 women received usual care. Information about breastfeeding at 10-14 days was available for 94% of the women who gave birth in the study period. 848 women consented to an additional follow-up questionnaire at 6 months.