Evaluating the Effect of Telephone Counseling during the Postpartum Period on Exclusive Breastfeeding

Authors

1 Assistant Professor, Health Science Research Center, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran.

2 Specialist in Community Medicine, Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Sari, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor of Community Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran.

4 Resident of Family Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran.

Abstract

Introduction
The most common type of feeding for infants is breastfeeding. Since breastfeeding mothers have low levels of breastfeeding knowledge, proper Health workers' support can play an effective role in raising mother's awareness and enhancing exclusive nutrition. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of telephone counseling during the postpartum period on exclusive breastfeeding. 
Methods & Materials: This quasi-experimental study was conducted on 170 breastfed women referred to the 2 selected health centers of Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences in 2018. The participants were randomly allocated into two equal groups (each: 75 individuals). The participants in the intervention group received telephone counseling by one midwifery expert. The control group received routine care. Data were collected using a questionnaire including demographic characteristics and a breastfeeding check-list. Exclusive breastfeeding rates were recorded two and six months after childbirth in both groups. Data were analyzed using SPSS software version 24.0.
Results
A total of 165 mothers participants in this study. Based on the results, exclusive breastfeeding’s rate were 61% in treatment group and 39.8% in control group which was statistically significant (p=0.006). In addition, 24 neonates (28.9%) of the newborns in the control group and 19 (23.2%) in the intervention group were fed in addition to the breastfeeding. This difference was statistically significant and indicates that the intervention Telephone counseling in postpartum period has a positive effect on exclusive breastfeeding (p = 0.027).
 Conclusion
Based on the results, using a counseling program in this study led to an increase in exclusive breastfeeding in newborns. Pre and postpartum and lactation care for both mother and infant can increase health and exclusive breastfeeding.

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